Japan Quietly Hosted a Blockchain Roundtable for Central Banks, Regulators


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Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s financial regulator, has revealed details of a closed-doors roundtable between regulators and central banks from a number of countries as a part of a wider multilateral joint research project on blockchain technology.

Central banks and financial regulators from a number of nations alongside a handful of foreign and Japanese academic institutions were all part of a part of an FSA-hosted roundtable to discuss their views on the opportunities and risks presented by public or open blockchain technology. The private meeting was held on March 8 and 9, an FSA announcement confirmed on Monday.

The FSA said:

“The roundtable meeting especially highlights the inherent technical risks and opportunities around blockchain. As a part of this initiative, JFSA currently conducts a study on the vulnerability issues of public-blockchain and relevant security issues and its impacts from technical perspectives.”

Participants in the roundtable included central banks from Singapore, Canada and Japan as well as financial regulators from the UK, Abu Dhabi, France and Hong Kong, alongside Australia’s securities regulator. Crypto-centric MIT Media Lab, the University of Tokyo and Keio University also participated as academics.

Topics covered during the roundtable include the “Potential of blockchain”, “Blockchain innovation and responsible user protection” and “Blockchain tests and use cases – jurisdictional Proof of Concept(s)”, among others.

The FSA says the roundtable was to share the nations’ collective views on blockchain technology under the ‘Multilateral Joint Research’ project, an FSA initiative launched in 2017 as an international research effort with a specific agenda centered on blockchain innovation.

While any details of the discussions held during the closed-doors currently remain under wraps, some common viewpoints and challenges could be shared with the public when agreed upon by all participants, the FSA added.

As Japan’s retail banking market prepares for what would be the largest consumer-end implementation of blockchain tech via a consumer payments app powered by Ripple, the world’s biggest central banks were told cryptocurrencies “do not pose risks to global financial stability” by the international Financial Stability Board (FSB) during the ongoing G20 summit in Argentina.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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