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Hello, I'm Anthony Butler.  

This is my site where I frequently write about the impact of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, on societies and economies.  

I am currently a Senior Advisor to a G20 Central Bank responsible for applied research and experiments with emerging technologies in the financial sector.  Prior to this, I was Chief Technology Officer for IBM in the Middle East and Africa and was appointed as an IBM Distinguished Engineer mostly for my work in blockchain and cloud technologies.

I live in and am focused on supporting the development of one of the most exciting and future-oriented places in the world –  the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

If you're interested in reading my thoughts as they get published, feel free to subscribe below.

Recent Posts

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A graph pathfinding approach to FX liquidity challenges

In blockchain networks that are focused on enabling PvP cross-border payments, such as the BIS Innovation Hub’s mBridge, addressing the FX conversion requirement is important. There may be a challenge with these multi-currency payment networks around the liquidity of certain currency pairs.  This can, of course, be solved by

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Liquidity-saving mechanisms in trade credit networks: Optimising corporate liquidity

Trade Credit Liquidity Savings Mechanism vFTrade Credit Liquidity Savings Mechanism vF.pdf1 MBdownload-circle Trade credit, or the delayed payment for intermediate goods, has been reported as an important source of short-term external finance for many non-financial firms. The value of trade payables is comparable with that of outstanding corporate bonds

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IP considerations in consulting/services agreements

As a result of Vision 2030, there is a tremendous amount of innovation occurring across every dimension of Saudi Arabia: from the digital transformation of government, the development of the gigaprojects (such as NEOM), or the vast efforts of the Public Investment Fund to accelerate the growth of the non-oil

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Designing a privacy preserving rCBDC

There has been a lot of global debate about privacy in the context of retail CBDCs, particularly in the context of them being a replacement for cash. The perception is that the introduction of a retail CBDC would enable broad surveillance powers for the government as well as the ability

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Decentralized Liquidity Savings Mechanisms with Privacy-Preserving Cryptography

In the context of the wCBDC discussion, there is a lot of focus on the standard lifecycle of the CBDC from issuance through to redemption but not as much consideration of the possible liquidity implications. One of the most powerful concepts in financial markets is the concept of the Liquidity

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Money is a General Purpose Technology

There are certain technologies that are characterised as General Purpose Technologies (GPTs).  These are technologies, like electricity or the computer, that have a very large economic impact: often at a national or global level.  They are characterised by their broad usefulness and applicability to different sectors and applications; they are,

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ChatGPT is the ‘Netscape moment’ for artificial intelligence’

Originally published in Arab News. It is impossible for anyone to have missed the excitement generated by ChatGPT. Countless articles on the subject have been written, including many by ChatGPT. While underlying technologies, such as deep learning, are not new, ChatGPT’s rich conversational interface has captured the popular imagination

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AI might not take jobs but it will take tasks

Artificial intelligence (AI) and specifically Large Language Models (LLMs) are what is defined in the economics literature, as a General Purpose Technology.  These are specific classes of technology that demonstrate improvements over time, become pervasive throughout the economy, and typically lead to the spawning of complementary innovations and positive spillover

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On impossible grammars and Large Language Models

The interest in Large Language Models (LLMs) has led to a resurgence of popular interest in cognitive science.  One of the interesting questions that come up is whether these models understand language; that is, whether they have developed some form of cognitive ability.  The results of models such as GPT4

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Living and working in the metaverse

Originally published in Arab News. In the 1930s, Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase wrote a seminal essay on the nature of the firm, explaining the reason for the emergence and growth of companies. He argued that firms are what they are because of transaction costs.  It is not cost-effective to