Last week (Nov. 21-24) the Deutsche Bundesbank, in cooperation with Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, hosted a blockchain-focused central bank conference and workshop. The event held under the title “Blockchain Technology – Opportunities and Challenges” discussed many aspects of the emerging technology including digital protocols and the relevance of bitcoin as a system of payment. The conference was followed by a workshop study trip at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
According to the Bundesbank:
“The workshop addresses the technological achievements of blockchain and possible business cases especially in the financial sector.”
“It tries to answer the question whether bitcoin has a future in payments and illustrates examples for a possible use of blockchain technology.”
“Furthermore, it discusses the topic from the viewpoint of central banks and regulators.”
Attendees of the workshop included speakers from various European central banks, financial institutions, members of academia, and the EU Parliament as well as representatives from R3, Eris Industries, Cambridge Blockchain, Digital Asset Holdings, among others.
Specific issues discussed included: smart contracts, a European perspective on the blockchain, a global payments initiative by SWIFT, and how blockchain can transform traditional finance.
The workshop organised by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management focused on five modules centred around blockchain-based payments, post-trading and beyond and possible regulatory issues for central banks.
The conference and workshop represent something of a change of orientation by the Bundesbank which has, until recently, expressed more critical opinions on bitcoin as a vehicle for speculation and the need to regulate it.