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European Central Bank Teams Up With Bank of Japan For Blockchain JV

The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have announced a joint exploration of distributed ledger technology, in a move some analysts are hoping could have profound effects for the technology.

Working on a joint venture basis, the central banks are conducting research into the blockchain, and potential applications for both domestic and international banking.

Building on initial research efforts into the technology, the move could see the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan identify new opportunities through the blockchain, with knock-on implications for banks, commerce and governments worldwide.

The announcement is the latest in a long line of positive signals from central banks, which has seen banks from Singapore, Australia, Sweden and the Bank of England turn an increasing research focus on practical applications for the blockchain.

It is thought that the distributed ledger could be used in handling intra-bank transfers, reducing the costs and administration associated with current processes. The launch of the joint research project has been welcomed by blockchain commentators, who see it as a further sign of the bright future in store for this technology.

Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank said that while the technology still needs further development, the venture will explore a range of possible uses for the blockchain.

“Together with the Bank of Japan, we agreed to launch a joint research project which studies the possible use of (distributed ledger technology) for market infrastructure. The project is expected to release its main findings next year. This work can help define how new technologies can change the global financial ecosystem of today and ensure that central banks are adequately prepared.”

The banks have suggested they will be in a position to publish their findings in 2017, which already looks set to be another important year for the development of these technologies.

With growing resources and keen interest from a huge number of state agencies, private companies and startups, it is hoped the coming 12 months will continue to move the blockchain closer to the position of mass implementation across financial and payment networks.