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Payment and exchange transactions in shared ledgers

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This paper examines three alternative architectures for financial ledgers: (1) centralised databases, (2) bitcoin-style blockchains and (3) Ethereum-style blockchains. It outlines the transaction model for these three types of ledger, covering both one-way payments and two-way atomic exchanges (delivery versus payment). Of particular note is how these architectures assign responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the ledger, to ensure that transactions do not create or delete funds and only move assets with the proper authorisation of their owners. Although Ethereum-style blockchains have many similarities to centralised databases with stored procedures, bitcoin-style blockchains are fundamentally different both at the ledger and transaction level.
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Keywords: Ethereum; bitcoin; blockchain; distributed ledger; shared ledger

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • Journal of Payments Strategy & Systems publishes peer-reviewed articles and case studies analysing best practice, emerging issues and new thinking in how to develop a profitable, customer-focused payments strategy. It examines major issues facing the corporate, wholesale and retail payments industry from a business, risk and operational perspective.

    Edited by renowned payments expert Alec Nacamuli and guided by an eminent Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue provides practical, detailed analysis of developments and trends in the payments business, regulation, new entrants and technologies and how to bring them all together to define your payments strategy, as well as actionable advice and ‘lessons learned’ from fellow professionals on how payment processing systems can be leveraged to maximise profitability, security and efficiency and minimise risk. It contains no advertising and no advertorial.

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