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Bank of England FinTech accelerator to continue focusing on Blockchain, open RTGS

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 12 Apr 2017

Bank of England FinTech accelerator to continue focusing on Blockchain, open RTGS

(ShareCast News) - Bank of England chief Mark Carney announced the opening of the fourth round of applications for its FinTech accelerator, which would focus on maintaining privacy on so-called distributed ledgers and the use of big data to support its analysis.
The former is the technical expression for the technology underlying the well-known electronic currency 'Bitcoin', also known as 'Blockchain'.

He also announced that Bank was working on plans to open up the RTGS payments system to non-bank payment systems providers.

Although still in its infancy, the proponents of Blockchain believe it could radically alter the way people interact with the internet and massively disrupt a broad swathe of financial services, albeit at the same time expanding the opportunities for growth by making credit more available and lessening the role of intermediaries.

Even in its most staid forms, it is believed that Blockchain could sharply reduce the risk of hacking against the computer networks used by financial services firms.

Applied to wholesale payment systems and clearing and settlement activities, it might save banks tens of billions of pounds in regulatory capital and improve the durability of the entire system, Carney said.

Linked to all of the above, since 2016 the PRA and FCA have approved the creation of four mobile banks, Carney added.

Carney also said that Bank will publish its blueprint for the new RTGS payments system in May with a view to opening it up to non-bank payment service providers, thus levelling the 'playing field' for them.

The Bank of England's RTGS payments system sits at the heart of Britain's monetary system, processing half a trillion pounds' worth of transactions each day.

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