Sri Lanka Central Bank Says Blockchain Platform Will Soon Enter Development Author: Ali Raza Last Updated: 02 July 2020 The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has had its Monetary Board make an announcement. This announcement was in regards to the bank being close to starting the development of a blockchain platform, one expected to dramatically speed up the bank’s processing of a user’s ID information. With this, the hope is to further streamline the bank’s entire system. Three Firms For The Shortlist As it stands now, the Monetary Board has published a shortlist. This shortlist consists of three separate software development firms, which will be tasked to design the proof-of-concept (POC) of this new know-your-customer (KYC) platform. This comes from the news report made by a local media outlet, Daily Mirror Online. Kumaratunge stands as the Director of Payments and Settlements for Sri Lanka’s Central bank, and gave comments about the matter at large. He explained that the expectation is that the final decision as to which firm will develop this platform will come shortly, and the development will begin after that. This was made clear through an event that occurred on Tuesday. Choosing 3 Out of 36 Options This KYC platform itself was planned to allow for the government and the banking sector at large to share and update bank data of their various customers. The idea is that this will be capable of being done in real-time, doing so through a blockchain network. Kumaratunge went further, explaining that there have already been several banks to join this project, having given their consent to it at large. It should be noted, however, that this open call was done on a voluntary basis. Even so, 36 candidates, both from within Sri Lanka and without, applied to do the project back in November last year. Of the three candidates that had been shortlisted, one of these finalists stands as a foreign tech firm. Aims To Improve The Country’s Finance Sector As it stands now, speculations in regard to the time frame of this project to reach completion is varied. The earliest estimation stands at six months, with the latest going by nine. This project is expected to allow the banks of Sri Lanka to onboard various new customers without the inevitable delays that manual processing causes. Furthermore, it’s expected to save costs that are typically associated with the paper-based traditional methods of document verification. This stands as part of a national effort from Sri Lanka to improve its financial sector, at large, in order to meet the international standards the world has already established.