While at a networking event last week with MIT Media Lab I met a man who claimed to be the head of the Bank of England (BoE) blockchain thinktank. The networking event was for Fintech Future Commerce, hosted by David Shrier, and I joked that I hoped he knew more about blockchain than we were going to learn in a 12 week online course. He took it as well as you could expect from an industry expert!
But from the looks of the press today, Mr Carney is seriously looking at the blockchain and is examining whether distributed ledger technology might be deployed to make the RTGS system more resilient.
This is fascinating stuff as one of the blockchain's main issues is that it only really reaches its amazing potential at scale. Getting the BoE behind it will be a great boost to the mass adoption of the blockchain.
“There is more than a whiff of revolution in the air,” Mr Carney said, in a speech that quoted William Wordsworth’s musings on the French Revolution. “For everyone, fintech may deliver a more inclusive financial system, domestically and globally; with people better connected, more informed and increasingly empowered.” He did warn that “the prospect of a central bank digital currency for the UK, in my view, [is] still some way off”.