If anyone is wondering what blockchain technology could be used for in the financial industry, it’s cleaning up this mess:

“Even the brokers mostly don’t own the shares they hold for customers in ‘street name.’ Instead, they’ve all agreed to put their shares in one place, called the Depository Trust Co., which owns all their shares for them. This makes transfers even more convenient; instead of moving around physical share certificates between brokerages, everyone can just move around entries in DTC’s central computer. It does make voting one level more complicated: Delightfully, DTC (or, strictly, its nominee, Cede & Co.) is the record owner for state law purposes, while the brokers are the record owners for federal law purposes, with the odd result that Cede (the Delaware owner) has to give proxies to the brokers (the federal owners) so that they can vote. By proxy. On behalf of their customers.”

Max Masnick, PhD @max