Blockchain’s fan base has just gotten bigger.
Two more countries are set to adopt the technology that supports the popular digital currency bitcoin into their own banking systems, albeit with different goals.
The Bank of Canada announced last week that it is testing how the blockchain technology can be used for interbank payments. But the Canadian central bank stressed that “it has no plans” to come up with a digitized version of the Canadian dollar.
Blockchain, as we all know, makes use of cryptography to create a distributed ledger system to hold and spend money in a more open, transparent and flexible manner compared to the traditional bank or credit card companies.
So far, the Bank of Canada has taken up a proof of concept experiment with New York-based start-up R3 CEV, Payments Canada, and several Canadian commercial banks.
Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Gov. Carolyn Wilkins hinted that this could be the first of many experiments involving digital currency technologies, telling The Wall Street Journal: “Other frameworks need to be investigated, and there are many hurdles that need to be cleared before such a system would ever be ready for prime time.”
Sweden is also testing the blockchain technology, but for a different purpose: land registry.
The Scandinavian country is working with several blockchain-related firms—blockchain company ChromaWay, consulting firm Kairos Future, and telecommunications service provider Telia—to place Sweden’s land registry on blockchain, Reuters reported.
The experiment, which is in the proof of concept stage, involves putting real estate transactions on the ledger system, where anyone from banks, the government, brokers, sellers and even buyers can keep track of the progress of the deal.
Magnus Kempe, director of retail and finance at Kairos Future, told Reuters the project is already on the second phase of testing—one that involves “a full sized environment.”
The project will put Sweden on the blockchain map as the first country to have a distributed ledger-based land registry.
Current bitcoin price and transaction volume
The price of blockchain’s digital currency dipped slightly on Tuesday—mainly due to Bitfinex exchange’s unscheduled downtime—when it registered at a low $698.52, with 15.68 million bitcoins in circulation.