Yves Mersch, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, made the blockchain technology the central point of his speech at Deutsche Bank Transaction Bankers' Forum in Frankfurt am Main.

Mersch admitted that distributed ledger “could be a game changer in the market” but stressed the importance to analyze all issues before adopting it.

The financier said that the European Central Bank is “certainly open to new technologies and, like many market players”, began “some experimental work” on blockchain. He does not rule out the possibility of adopting blockchain technology (that he terms DLT, short for distributed ledger technology) for the euro zone market infrastructures.

However, according to Mersch, it is important to take a “central bank perspective” and weigh carefully all potential consequences, both positive and negative, for monetary policy, financial stability and economic growth, before starting to use DLT for the European capital market:

“We have a lot of more thinking to do.”

While some believe that DLT is a panacea for all evils, and others see it as something ephemeral, Mersch supposes that “the truth may lie somewhere in the middle.”

In his speech, he repeatedly compared distributed ledger technology to a hammer. At first, to illustrate the narrowness of an approach focused exclusively on blockchain, he cited Maslow:

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

To show the disruptive potential of the blockchain, he declared:

“Like the hammer that shatters glass yet can forge steel, it may bring advantages to some actors and disintermediate others.”

Finally, speaking of the necessity to analyse DLT-related questions in depth, he stated:


“Before wielding the hammer we have to make sure that we have a strong anvil.”


Alexey Tereshchenko