英国银行（the Bank of England）在3月27日声明，他们正在进行一项概念验证（proof-of-concept，PoC）项目，旨在了解“不断更新的实时总结算（Real Time Gross Settlement，RTGS）服务”如何能够与分布式账本技术（DLT）进行交互。
“尽管该行觉得布式记账技术（Distributed Ledger Technology，DLT）还不够成熟，无法为下一代RTGS系统提供核心技术，但该行依旧希望他们的新服务能够与DLT互相交互，并在更广泛的英镑市场中开发运用。”
本周，欧洲中央银行（the European Central Bank，ECB）和日本银行（the Bank of Japan，BoJ）分别公布了他们关于区块链具有改变证券结算的潜力的相关研究结果。
The Bank of England is beginning its Proof of Concept (PoC) to examine its potential in RTGS functionality with decentralized blockchain technology. Providing a resilient, strong, innovative system for the UK in mind, the PoC serves as a response to changes within the fintech industry.
The Bank looks to protect financial stability along with embracing innovation while keeping data integrity at the heart of the matter. The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) handles nearly one-fourth of the annual GDP for the UK on an average day and must be able to continue to meet demand from users.
After releasing a renewed RTGS vision last May, this PoC is part of the bank’s strategic plan for 2020, which will see the “right technology at the core.
Also included in the vision are an external-facing API and an increase in the number of firms able to access RTGS directly for payment flow settlement.
Proof of Concept
The BOE is opening itself up to outside evaluation, searching for solutions to blockchain/cryptocurrency system integration and capacity for new technologies.
With distributed ledger technology picking up pace, the Bank of England is now working to navigate RTGS through cooperation with Clearmatics Technologies Ltd, Token, R3, and Baton Systems. Greater insight will be provided to the bank, with multiple firms involved. All four firms have access to a replica of a pre-funded settlement service for UK retailers.
Learning how to support settlement once DLT is deemed “mature enough” for sterling markets is the goal. Additionally, seeing if innovative settlements will be able to properly function within the RTGS, and how functionality may be expanded.
Bank of England’s History with Blockchain Technology
In 2016, referring to DLT, the Bank’s Executive Director for Banking, Payments, and Financial Resilience, Andrew Hauser, stated: “there’s no likelihood of such an extreme revolution occurring any time soon.” That was in 2016.
Yet, in May 2017, the bank offered an RTGS blueprint regarding services for various settlement models. Regardless of executive statements offered the previous year, the necessity to include emerging payment systems was clear.
The Bank of England’s proof of concept findings is expected to be published later this year, including functionality expansion possibilities and necessary steps for implementation.
Time will tell how the Bank will adjust to the findings and what they’ll offer regarding DLT innovation…and when.