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In late April, blockchain evangelist Blythe Masters told a crowd in the London Docklands that banks could solve many of their problems if they embraced the transaction-processing technology.

The former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive could also have been talking about SWIFT, which hosted the conference. The messaging system for transfers between banks was facing a crisis that had been bubbling under the surface for months. Hackers have exploited the SWIFT system to steal US$81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, and may have infiltrated as many as 12 banks.

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