On June 17th, the Bank of England (BOE) announced a new initiative with a financial technology accelerator that will partner with fintech firms to help ‘harness innovations for central banking.’ This was underlined in the recent speech by BOE Governor Mark Carney the very same day. Alongside BOE’s new accelerator program they have also partnered up with PricewaterhouseCoopers to research blockchain innovation.
The Bank of England is starting to believe in the financial technology revolution taking place around the globe. The recent announcement of a new fintech accelerator program confirms all the rumors of the central bank investing its time into this space. BOE Governor Mark Carney seems to be very interested in the innovative phenomena happening worldwide as central bankers everywhere are hearing about the vast opportunities of blockchain solutions and melding tech together with finance. BOE Governor Mark Carney states in his recent address:
“Our Fintech Accelerator has already carried out initial work in the areas of data anonymisation, cyber security, and distributed ledger technology. Other areas of potential future interest for the accelerator include, finding new ways to structure and analyse large datasets, machine learning, particularly in relation to anomaly detection and pattern recognition and the protection of the Bank’s sensitive data”
The very same day as BOE’s fintech program announcement, the multinational finance firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) told the world PwC’s Northern Ireland technologies team with collaboration from BOE will work together on a “major project” concerning distributed ledger technology. PwC states it’s “decision to focus on blockchain technology in its Northern Ireland headquarters represents a major step in the firm’s move towards developing and exploiting fintech.” Rob Elsey, Chief Information Officer for the Bank of England, believes the “proof-of-concept” will greatly enhance the central bank’s research of emerging blockchain technology. Elsey states in the announcement:
“With PwC’s support, the Bank’s developers used the latest techniques and software to deliver this POC and have gained further skills that will enable additional rapid Proof of Concepts in the future.
Central banks lust for learning about cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and financial tech, in general, has become apparent. Live Bitcoin News was one of the first to break the news about Mark Carney taking a liking to distributed ledger technology research. Following Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen getting some education on the subject.
It will be interesting to see how Bitcoin plays a role in this world of privatizing blockchains and so-called central bank coins coming into the mix. Another question is with the current failure of the DAO how many will pull the plug on concepts like Smart contract style blockchains? Investors are starting to realize bitcoin network is reliable, and the most tested blockchain holds weight amongst competitors. Central banks could learn a thing or two from Bitcoin as its has been successful, and the many methods they hold dear, such as fractional reserve banking, quantitative easing, and manipulating interests rates have failed in the eyes of global citizens.
Source: BOE, and PwC blogs