SARB wins inaugural fintech award

The logo of the South African Reserve Bank
The logo of the South African Reserve Bank

The SA Reserve Bank (SARB) received an award for a proof-of-concept project, which uses technology that underpins blockchain.

The Reserve Bank issued a statement on Thursday, indicating that Project Khokha received the inaugural ‘Best Distributed Ledger Initiative’ award from the Central Banking Publications at a gala dinner in Singapore.

The inaugural award recognised Project Khokha for its promise shown in the central banking, regulatory and supervisory environment, and for the benefit shown to the organisation that implemented the project, the Reserve Bank said.

Fin24 understands that distributed ledger technology is a secure way of storing transactions on a shared network. Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology.

“I am proud of the efforts made by the South African community in deepening knowledge of, and leveraging off, new technologies such as distributed ledger-based systems, especially those that are core to our economy such as wholesale payment systems.

“The award is the recognition of the importance of collaboration, focused effort and shared knowledge in a productive and transparent manner,” said Deputy Governor Francois Groepe, who received the award on behalf of SARB.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago launched the Project Khokha report earlier this year following a trial for managing wholesale payments between settlement banks, using the distributed ledger technology. 

Results of the trial showed that the typical daily volume of the South African payments system could be processed in less than two hours, providing full confidentiality of transactions. The SARB was also able to view the detail of all the transactions, allowing for regulatory oversight.

The SARB said it would continue to evaluate the potential and the risks of distributed ledger technology.

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