SARB Chief: Blockchain Could Bring Financial Access to Millions of People

The governor of South Africa's central bank struck a positive note on blockchain earlier this month.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2017 at 1:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:01 p.m. UTC

“[T]his technology has the potential of bringing in millions of people who are currently excluded from economic activity.”

Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the country’s central bank. Speaking on the sidelines of the Davos conference in Switzerland with earlier this month, Kganyago remarked on the tech’s potential to improve conditions for financial inclusion.

The governor has expressed openness toward the technology in the past, remarking in August that the SARB was “willing to consider the merits” of blockchain. Meanwhile, banks in South Africa have tested the tech for months, a collaboration that has since grown to include the SARB itself, among other regulators.

In terms of potential use cases, Kganyago highlighted the tech’s possible use in enhancing government services, telling the publication:

“It has the potential of automating so many government processes and makes the delivery of services by governments super-efficient. People think that it’s in its early days, but it is already being used in so many different respects.”

In the interview, Kganyago also touched on the environment in which this work is being pursued within South Africa’s finance sector, describing it as a positive one.

“South Africa is very good at structuring national conversations and the conversations between the tax sector, the banking sector, and the regulators is actually a very useful conversation that is taking place,” he remarked.


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