Success in Blockchain Payment Test Claimed by South Africa’s Central Bank

A statement released on Tuesday says that the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB) said it has completed a 14-week “realistic” proof-of-concept that managed to settle the country’s typical 70,000 daily payment transactions within two hours, taking an average of 12 seconds to generate each block – and all while preserving full anonymity.

A detailed report, also released on Tuesday by the South Africa Reserve Bank says the pilot saw participation from members of a consortium of banks, even Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FirstRand, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank.

As stated in the report, SARB (South Africa Reserve Bank) does not have plans of replacing the current real-time gross settlement (RTGS) by a live blockchain program. For that to come into place, they need to do more study and relevant regulatory and compliance systems have to be in place.

The bank said in the report: “Key considerations that need to be addressed include the evaluation of supporting frameworks and other systems that integrate with the RTGS system, as well as the legal, regulatory and compliance factors. …A fully live DLT-based payment system is not currently planned in South Africa.”

As CoinDesk reported previously, South Africa Reserve Bank has announced the trial of the project, labeled Khokha, in February, in partnership with ConsenSys, an ethereum startup. The payment platform lies on top of Quorum, the enterprise blockchain platform that was developed by investment bank HPMorgan.


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