Japan’s Central Bank Says Blockchain Trials Are Exploratory So Far

Michael del Castillo
Feb 8, 2017 at 13:30 UTC
Updated Feb 15, 2017 at 16:26 UTC
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The central bank of Japan will not be applying blockchain to its payments and settlement systems any time soon, the institution has said.

Following a statement last year by the Bank of Japan’s governor Haruhiko Kuroda, that the the bank was “test driving” distributed ledger technology, the bank’s head of payments has now clarified the research.

Masafumi Miya, who also oversees the bank’s fintech center, told CoinDesk:

“These trials by the bank’s staff simply aim to understand the mechanics of DLT, rather than applying it to the bank’s own liabilities or its payment and settlement systems.”

Further, Miya confirmed that the “main findings” of a joint research project between the Bank of Japan’s Settlement Systems Department and the European Central Bank are expected to be released before the end of the year.

During governor Kuroda’s comments in December, he told attendees at the Paris Europlace Financial Forum in Tokyo that other central banks around the world should engage in similar research efforts.

Since last year, Japan’s financial technology developers and other market participants have been working to chart a course for the country to take a leadership role on the global blockchain scene. The country’s Blockchain Collaborative Consortium now counts 120 institutional members.

However, the Bank of Japan is not “observing” any of the blockchain consortium’s experiments, Miya told CoinDesk.

Correction: this article originally identified governor Haruhiko Kuroda as the deputy governor.

Bank of Japan image via Shutterstock