SA Reserve Bank – Project Khokha

Project Khokha was delivered by a collaborative team led by the SARB, consisting of seven South African settlement banks (Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FirstRand, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank) as well as technical (ConsenSys) and support (PwC) partners.The goal of phase 1 was to build a proof-of-concept wholesale payment system for interbank settlement using a tokenised South African rand on Quorum – a permissioned distributed ledger technology. Results of the testing on the project showed that the typical daily volume of the South African payments system (70,000 transactions at the start of the project) could be processed in less than two hours (recovery time in case of failure) with full confidentiality of transactions and settlement finality. As far as the team is aware this was the first time that the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance consensus mechanism and Pedersen commitments for confidentiality were used with Quorum to achieve the above results. The team benefited from communities of learning and collaboration already established in the South African financial services industry and among regulators. The team managed to deliver a technical solution and report which has received global recognition evidencing South Africa’s ability to innovate and collaborate.