New technology is frequently born into the arms of intensely enthusiastic communities of early adopters. These folks generate the energy, enthusiasm, initial resources, time and care that incubate and accelerate opportunity. If the affection and vision of this early circle is merited and sufficient, we see a period of explosive growth. This is the story of the distributed ledger — or blockchain — over the past few years. While 2017 was a fiscally explosive year, 2018 followed with growing regulation. This year also saw clarity and the emergence of calming voices, which continue to bring larger degrees of certainty to blockchain operations.
Ultimately, the question remains: "How should the institutional community understand blockchain?" The initial draw to blockchain was that all information is stored in an immutable ledger without the need for a central authority or intermediary. However, the allocator and fund manager community has yet to find a way to integrate blockchain into its decision-making, namely finding a way to validate the information entered into the blockchain. Early reports of blockchain as, primarily, a financial technology have been poorly borne out as it has affected the world beyond finance. Other industries are relying on blockchain, which means the financial world eventually will have to expedite full adoption.