WorldCom was once the second largest long-distance telecom company. With a market cap of $175 billion during the dot-com boom, it was proof of Wall Street’s potential to make investors rich quickly.
Then it happened. Barely noticeable cracks in WorldCom’s foundation became full-blown fissures.
WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers defrauded investors by reporting false profits of over $3 billion. Countless investors were left without savings and retirement money due to the company’s deceptive accounting practices.
This story is hardly unique. The notorious Bernie Madoff defrauded investors out of at least $17 billion. Italian dairy giant Parmalat forged countless documents to cover up $14 billion in expenses. Most people know the name Enron for all the wrong reasons.
So how can blockchain technology help fight our proclivity for greed?
The more consumer protections and transparency we bring to investment markets, the better. The blockchain could help deliver multiple investor safeguards.
The use cases start simple, by automating stock trading to cut out fees and middlemen, or logging trade histories and mandatory financial data on a blockchain to ease regulator access. This technology could even enable totally new asset classes for trade.