The Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Innovation Hub has announced the launch of Project Khokha 2 to explore the policy and regulatory implications of innovation in financial markets driven by distributed ledger technology.
Distributed Ledger Technology, such as blockchain, is all about the idea of a “decentralised” network against the conventional “centralised” mechanism.
The IFWG was established to respond to changes in the the financial sector is driven by financial technology (FinTech) and promote responsible innovation.
The IFWG is made up of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the National Credit Regulator (NCR), National Treasury, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
The Reserve Bank runs a system called the South African Multiple Option Settlement System (SAMOS) to perform real-time gross settlements between local banks.
The IFWG said in a statement that the Project Khokha 2 would issue, clear, and settle debentures on distributed ledger technology using tokenised money in a minimum viable product (MVP) to inform policy and regulatory reflections.
“Industry participants will be able to purchase the debentures with a wholesale central bank-issued digital currency (wCBDC) and a wholesale digital settlement token (wToken),” said IFWG.
The wToken can be seen as a privately issued stablecoin used for interbank settlement, it explained.
The IFWG said Absa, FirstRand, Investec, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE Limited), Nedbank, Standard Bank and Strate would Project Khokha 2.
The industry body said Accenture would be responsible for developing the wCBDC for Project Khokha 2.
“The company (Accenture) has extensive global experience on CBDC projects, both retail and wholesale, which will benefit the IFWG on this project.”
Block Markets Africa (BMA) has been selected to produce the blockchain-based debentures and the wToken for the project.
The IFWG said BMA’s experience in tokenising and trading financial instruments across various distributed ledger technology platforms would help create a Khokha network to interconnect the distributed ledger technology on the project.
Deloitte will document the insights gained from Project Khokha 2 in a public report.
“Project Khokha 2 is a continuation of the structured analysis of the impact of DLT on financial markets, both the benefits and the risks, by gaining practical experience through experimental trials with industry,” the industry body explained.
“The project should not be seen to reflect support for any particular technology or as a radical policy shift.
“However, it is the project’s objective to assist in the formulation of appropriate fintech-related policy frameworks through the publication of a thought leadership report.”