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Bank of Japan: Blockchain Could Alter Financial Services

Japan's central bank issued remarks this week that found it forecasting that blockchain could come to have a fundamental impact on finance.

Aug 23, 2016 at 5:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:27 p.m. UTC

The way financial services are designed could evolve with the development of blockchain technology and distributed ledgers, the governor of Japan's central bank said this week.

The new remarks from Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, were issued at an event held at the institution's FinTech Center, itself established this year as part of an effort to study financial tech.

He cited artificial intelligence and blockchain as advances that could alter the face of financial services.

Kuroda said:

"Given that the development of financial services has been supported by ledgers as the basic infrastructure for information, the dramatic changes in how ledgers are kept may have the potential of significantly changing the structure of financial services."

Kuroda's remarks on the technology echoed those of deputy governor Hiroshi Nakato, who said in May that central banks should keep a close eye on developments around digital currencies and blockchain.

In his speech, Kuroda indicated that the Bank of Japan wants to take a leading role in financial technology research, a process that could ultimately impact how the central bank operates.

"The Bank of Japan is ready to lead research and analysis on FinTech, in view of the possibility that the Bank itself may apply FinTech technologies to its operations in the future," he said.

The statements come amid rising interest and investment in blockchain and distributed ledgers domestically. Recent news articles have gone so far as to note a shortage of talent facing the Japanese market, though this trend can also been observed more broadly.

Piggy bank image via Shutterstock

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