Wide adoption of blockchain technology for a cryptocurrency payments system is intriguing but decades away, says the Reserve Bank. This effectively means SA’s consumers will have to wait before they can use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment that will rival, and potentially substitute fiat currency. “We are open-minded about the prospect of a central bank-issued digital currency, but that idea is not imminent and could be many decades away. There are various security and regulatory issues that have to be solved first,” says Francois Groepe, the Reserve Bank’s leader for Project Khokha. The project was initiated by the Bank in response to the development of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that employ blockchain technology. It began experimenting informally on blockchain in 2013 along with the Treasury, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the SA Revenue Service. “In our initial meetings, we looked at Bitcoin and its effect on society which prompted us to establish an infor...

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