The Federal Reserve Payment Processor, its $100B of revenue, and whether blockchains and L2s can match the value it settles

Let’s do some math homework. It’s good for you:

  • The Federal Reserve money movement system broke for several hours. We look deeply into its volumes and transactions, and value it like a Fintech unicorn.

  • The Ethereum ecosystem is throwing around as much volume in settlement as the Fed check processing system. We explore scalability barriers and solutions.

  • Can eCommerce fit into our emerging infrastructure? We anchor to the market numbers in China and the United States.

Things break.

Sometimes the things that break are the US Federal Reserve ACH service, Check 21, FedCash, Fedwire, and the national settlement service. They were down for a few hours — discovered at 11AM on Feb 24th and still in trouble at 3PM that day. Everything is now up and running again.