South Africa’s Blockchain-Based Project Khokha Receives Global Award
Project Khokha is a SARB (South African Reserve Bank) initiative running on an Ethereum based platform. A blockchain company named ConsenSys developed this technology along with Quorom. Project Khokha’s main objective is to replicate SAMOS (The South African Multiple Gross Operation Settlement System). This system is long overdue for a big overhaul, and Project Khokha attempts to further extend this. Combining it with distributed ledger technology will help speed up transactions while also reducing overhead costs.
— SA Reserve Bank (@SAReserveBank) September 6, 2018
The South African Reserve Bank’s Project Khokha recently received the ‘Best Distributed Ledger Initiative‘ award from the Central Banking Publications. Project Khokha received this award in Singapore, just 3 months after the SARB reported successful testing of the project. Deputy Governor Francois Groepe, executive sponsor of the Fintech Programme and Project Khokha stated:
“We are truly appreciative of and humbled by the award and for the recognition of the effort on Project Khokha. I am proud of the efforts made by the South African community in deepening knowledge of, and leveraging off, new technologies such as distributed ledger-based systems, especially those that are core to our economy such as wholesale payment systems. The award is the recognition of the importance of collaboration, focused effort and shared knowledge in a productive and transparent manner.”
Project Khokha is a proof-of-concept interbank payment and settlement system that is based on the Quorum blockchain. This project is also the first blockchain-based initiative based in Africa to receive global recognition.
What is Project Khokha?
Project Khokha launched in January of this year, running for 14 weeks in partnership with a variety of banks. This trial proves that the daily volume of transactions currently being handled by the existing real-time gross settlement system (SAMOS) can be processed in 75 minutes, all while maintaining complete confidentiality of all transactions.
“This is only the starting point. The implementation of a production-ready system requires a deeper understanding of the complexities that were not within the scope of this initial project. Key considerations that need to be addressed, over time, include the evaluation of supporting frameworks and other systems that integrate with the wholesale system, as well as the legal, regulatory and compliance factors.” – Lesetja Kganyago the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) governor
What does this mean for cryptocurrency in South Africa?
Project Khokha had the support of Discovery, FirstRand, Nedbank and five other banks. Though this trial was a success, no further information regarding the commercialization of this technology is available. This project is still undergoing testing as no real transactions took place during the trial period.
Thanks to this project, the future of cryptocurrency’s regulation in South Africa looks far brighter than it once was. Much like many other countries, no official regulations are in place at this time. Even though the South African Reserve Bank has voiced its concerns with cryptocurrency before, they seem to admire the underlying technology that comes with it. SARB’s open-minded approach to handling this situation is definitely a positive sign. Especially when in comparison with Zimbabwe’s central bank, which has officially banned cryptocurrency.
Exchanges and operators
A multitude of bitcoin ATMs can be located all over South Africa, in cities such as Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Durban and Cape Town. More legitimacy will be available to the cryptocurrency industry within the country as official regulatory measures are put in place in regards to price etc.
Cryptocurrency exchanges will also likely be the first to benefit from the positive attitude the South African Reserve bank is displaying towards the industry.
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