2016 Blockchain Symposium


The goal for the DTCC Blockchain Symposium  was to position DTCC as a thought leader in the Blockchain / Distributed Ledger space.  With the rise of Bitcoin technology, and specifically the focus on Blockchain as a disruptive force in the clearing and settlement space, DTCC had been identified as a potential victim of disruption.  Press reports pointed to the risky position we were in and suggested that we were going to be overtaken by this disruptive technology.

What many of these reports failed to take into account was that the role that DTCC plays as a key component of the infrastructure of the financial markets is not something that can simply be replaced by a new technology.  More important than the technology is the know-how and experience that come from operating at the center of the financial markets for more than 40 years.  No one is better positioned to drive the required collaboration across market players than DTCC, and our Blockchain symposium was designed to highlight this.

The Opportunity:

We saw the Symposium as an opportunity to reinforce our key role in the infrastructure of the financial markets, and to position ourselves as a thought leader and a key player in the disruption.  Instead of being threatened by the disruption, we embraced it. 

The Event:

We brought together senior strategy, business and technology leaders from DTCC client firms, as well as regulators and policymakers, and key players in the Blockchain space for a day-long symposium in New York City in March, 2016.  The agenda spanned topics such as strategy, dealing with disruption, regulatory implications and  development roadmaps.  Our speaker list include leaders from financial services, investors, government regulators and DTCC leaders.

The event creative included stage design, with branded Lucite monoliths, as well as stage elements that presented the event-specific creative that our in-house team developed.  Print materials and event giveaways also reinforced the DTCC brand identity.

During the event, we made use of real-time polling, bespoke video and targeted networking breaks. The entire event was taped to provide material for follow-on thought leadership content.

After the event we used the video footage and our on-site communications team to generate a Symposium-specific edition of our client newsletter, ‘DTCC Connection’.  The newsletter contained edited video vignettes from each session as well as a writeup based on the session content.

FCS - Blockchain Symposium 1

FCS - Blockchain Symposium 2

The event was supported by a microsite that contained event information, thought leadership and press clips highlighting our key themes.  We also used promoted  social activity (Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube) to highlight and promote the event.

FCS - Blockchain Website

Results, by the Numbers:

  • 400+ event attendees
  • 40 pieces of media coverage in 2 days, including NYT, WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters, CoinDesk, and Financial News
  • 110 posts on Twitter, including Telis Demos (WSJ), Waters, Profit & Loss, TabbForum, American Banker, and more
  • Drove significant increase in followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube

Engagement with our Content:

  • Blockchain Whitepaper: 4,600+ downloads
  • Symposium Newsletter: 2,600+ story views
  • Symposium Video Clips: 1,000+ views
  • DTCC Blockchain Video Series: 4,000+ views

Attendee Feedback:

  • 94% of survey respondents were ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Extremely Satisfied’ with the event
  • The majority of respondents rated every single session highly

FCS - Blockchain Symposium Attendee Survey

Extending the Impact:

Our Blockchain Symposium was timed in conjunction with several key moves by DTCC:

1) The release of a white paper, entitled ‘Embracing Disruption’, which outlined our point of view on the potential advantages of Distributed Ledgers.  The paper was authored by Rob Palatnick, DTCC’s Chief Technology Architect and a prominent thought leader

FCS - Embracing Disruption White Paper

2) The announcement that DTCC had made an investment in Digital Asset Holdings, a software company that builds distributed processing tools

3) coordinated PR and media outreach effort that resulted in significant industry and general press coverage

In conclusion:

The positive impact of the Blockchain Symposium carried us through the remainder of 2016, with our leaders regularly quoted in the press and featured as speakers at key events. DTCC is recognized even more as a leader in the Fintech space:

1)     Our CEO, Mike Bodson, named as a tech leader by Institutional Investor 

2)    We held a followup event – the Disruptive Technologies Forum - in London in November, 2016

3)    We announced in January 2017 that we will be partnering with IBM, Axoni and R3 to implement a Blockchain-based solution in the fixed Income markets.


Finally, we will be holding our followup event, the DTCC Fintech Symposium 2017, on March 1 in NYC.