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Bank of Japan Sets Date for Distributed Ledger Forum

The Bank of Japan has set the date for its Distributed Ledger Forum, an event which will bring together stakeholders, developers and banking industry figures to explore future uses for the technology.

As companies, government authorities and academics turn increasingly to the development of blockchain technology, the Bank of Japan hopes the forum could help further accelerate work in this area, important for a range of industries and sectors.

Hosted at the Bank of Japan FinTech Center, the event is scheduled for February 28. The forum becomes the latest signal of intent from the central bank, as it continues to eye new opportunities through the blockchain.

In addition to representatives from the central bank, the forum will bring together expertise from the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, R3, Soramitsu and Mizuho Bank. They will be accompanied by speakers from IBM, bitcoin exchange bitFlyer, and the Nippon exchange, to establish a widespread dialogue between those focusing on opportunities with the blockchain in future.

The move is the latest in a series of indications from global central banks, which are increasingly recognizing the value of blockchain technology. The technology underpinning the Bitcoin currency infrastructure, the blockchain is expected to provide value in a number of other settings, including intra-bank transfers and payment settlement.

The Bank of Japan itself is following on from a partnership unveiled with the European Central Bank, aimed at exploring blockchain technologies on a joint venture basis. It is expected that these programs could be among the first to establish a workable basis for the blockchain in central banking.

The event is expected to close with a speech from Hiromi Yamaoka, the Payment and Settlement System Department’s director general.

It comes at a time of strong growth in blockchain technologies and research, following successive investments and development projects in 2016.

As industries continue to develop an understanding of how the blockchain can help streamline their processes and increase security, analysts are expecting further development efforts throughout 2017.