T:WTF 007 – Peter Manning and The SARB Blockchain POC

The Blockchain Will Disrupt Everything. The reason? It’s a distributed ledger and everything in capitalism is built on a ledger. Blockchain gets to the very foundation of what capitalism is built on. Project Khokha is proof of how disruptive it can be.

Project Khokha: The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Blockchain POC

The pilot project was called Project Khokha. And it was a quick job – as Peter explains. The decision was made and they had to hustle to get the POC done in a couple of months. There were certain criteria that the Consensys Team has to make sure they hit.

The pilot focused on the real-time settlements between the central bank and the different commercial banks. As Peter shares, the current settlement technology (SAMOS) works very well. It does not to change.

So the question is why? And how disruptive can the really be?

There were 7 commercial banks in the Project Khokha POC project. The Central bank facilitates the settlements between each bank. So, if I bank with FNB and you are with Standard Bank, the reserve bank will manage the settlement process.

So with each bank having a ledger account with the SARB and SARB has a mirror account with each bank. With 7 commercial banks, it means we have 14 different ledgers.
Once Ledger, Real-Time Settlement. Privately.

What Peter and his Project Khokha team were able to do was consolidate the different ledgers into one ledger. They were able to run it in real time with the right privacy levels.

This is a very big deal. It means that auditors are no longer needed to check that the transactions are correct. They are verified in real time. It means that the risk of problems, errors and possible theft is dramatically reduced. No lawyers arguing over risk issues or lost money.

It Will Take Just One

While this is still a POC project, the genie is out of the bottle. It will take just one Central Bank to embrace this fully and we will see the change start happening. For us its a question of when. Not if. As we said, the blockchain will disrupt everything!


A Little Echo

The way we record our podcast is that we record live at different locations. We have a little mixer and some pretty good microphones. That said, every now and then we get caught up in a room with a bit of an echo – which is what happened here. So for any of the initial sound quality issues, we apologise.

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Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen

Michael Cowen is the CEO of WTF and co-host on the ThinkWTF Podcast. I focus on helping business build systems where their people thrive. You can book my keynotes on WTF Keynotes

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