Project Khoka used the Ethereum-based platform that ConsenSys developed to test whether real-time gross settlements for interbank payments between financial institutions could be implemented as a distributed ledger system.
Currently, the SARB runs a system called the South African Multiple Option Settlement system to perform real-time gross settlements between local banks.
In its report on Project Khoka, the SARB said the purpose of the project was not to compare various distributed ledger technologies.
Instead, it wanted to create a proof-of-concept that explored the applicability of blockchains in the gross settlement space, while building on the global body of knowledge.
“The selection of Quorum was pragmatic to enable the project to mobilise rapidly,” said an SARB spokesperson.
“A number of other central banks have used Quorum, and as such it was a pragmatic choice, particularly given ConsenSys’s technical skills and experience from working on Project Ubin.”
Project Ubin was a similar proof-of-concept undertaken by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
ConsenSys and Quorum
SARB commented on its choice of choosing ConsenSys :
“The choice of ConsenSys and Quorum was brought about through collaborative discussion with, for instance, MAS, as well as through the monitoring of what other central banks have done and collaborative learning through participation in international bodies,”
It went on to highlight three key pillars of Quorum which were taken into consideration before choosing the technology:
Privacy and Transparency: Maintain required level of confidentiality with required performance level. Delivered confidentially of commercial bank transactions including private data of payment sender/receiver and full view required for central bank to perform oversight function without the central bank needing to run a centralized system to do so.
Performance and Throughput: Quorum has been designed to achieve realistic throughputs associated with the financial services industry. Tested to current stress load level achieving the target of 70,000 transactions over a two hour period. The actual test ran in one hour fifteen minutes.
Permission and Governance – Quorum supports blockchains around permissioned groups of participants, with transaction validation and block creation distributed throughout the network.
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