South African Reserve Bank Completes Pilot on JPMorgan’s ‘Quorum’ Chain

'Project Khokha' was able to settle a days' worth of transactions in just two hours.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has successfully completed the pilot of ‘Project Khokha,’ a Proof-of-Concept for interbank transfers using ‘Quorum,’ JPMorgan’s Ethereum-based blockchain. An official statement detailing the results of the pilot said that Project Khokha’s main goal was “to build a proof-of-concept (PoC) wholesale payment system for interbank settlement using a tokenized South African rand on distributed ledger technology (DLT).”

While the bank does not yet intend to replace its existing settlement systems with blockchain technology, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Francois E. Groepe said that Khokha could act as a backup layer.

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With Khokha, A Day’s Transactions Were Processed in Two Hours

The pilot proved that the South African payments system average daily volume of transactions “could be processed in less than two hours with full confidentiality of transactions and settlement finality.” Each transaction took approximately two seconds to be confirmed.

Khokha made use of Range proofs and Pedersen commitments. According to a TrustNodes report, these concepts act as “a method to hold balances in a random number format so that you can not tell the balance of each participant,” thus ensuring privacy and confidentiality.

There Are Still “Many Issues to Consider” Before Full Implementation

The project also managed to achieve each one of the minor goals it set out for, including “to build on the initiatives previously undertaken by global peers and to gain further insights on DLT developments in a South African wholesale payments context.” The statement also said that the project provided an important opportunity “to explore the type of collaborative innovation that is expected to become more common.”

Indeed, the statement said that although there are still “many issues to consider” before a blockchain system can be fully implemented. However, the project has laid the necessary foundations for “future collaborative work.”

A total of seven South African banks participated in the pilot, along with venture production studio Consensys and international professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc.

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