Speaking at the Deutsche Bundesbank G20 conference on “Digitising finance, financial inclusion and financial literacy”, Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mark Carney said that the BoE is looking into the policy and technical issues posed by Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and developing Blockchain proof-of-concepts.
He noted that the Bank of England, with its FinTech accelerator, are developing Proofs of Concepts with new enabling technologies from machine learning to distributed ledgers. And they are researching the policy and technical issues posed by Central Bank Digital Currencies.
“On some levels this is appealing; people would have direct access to the ultimate risk-free asset. In the extreme, however, it could fundamentally reshape banking including by sharply increasing liquidity risk for traditional banks,” said Carney.
More from the speech:
“Emerging technologies, such as distributed ledger, could in future offer significant gains in the accuracy, efficiency and security of processes across payments, clearing and settlement as well as better regulatory compliance. In the process, tens of billions of dollars of capital may be saved and resilience could be significantly improved,”stated Carney.
“Securities settlement in particular seems ripe for innovation; a typical settlement chain can involve many intermediaries, making securities settlement comparatively slow, operational risks and costs high.”
Oliver Wyman and Santander estimated that distributed ledger technology could reduce banks’ infrastructure costs attributable to cross-border payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by $15-20bn per annum by 2022.