Copyright: 123RF_MonsitJangariyawong

A new research paper by a Bank of Canada staffer says most of the proposed benefits of the technology known as blockchain don’t really come from features unique to it.

In recent years, blockchain has been attracting a growing amount of attention as an efficient, highly secure, distributed-ledger technology with numerous applications, from easing cross-border transfers of funds to creating a foundation for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

But a staff analytical paper from the Bank of Canada is peeling back the layers of blockchain’s proposed advantages and suggests most of its assets actually come from more conventional technologies, such as encryption and smart contracts.

Read: Sounding Board: How blockchains, AI can transform pension administration

Author Hanna Halaburda also suggests the enthusiasm and uncertainty surrounding blockchain has an impact on the economy through, for example, optimistic valuations of blockchain-referencing startups.

The central bank says positions presented in its staff papers solely represent the views of the author and may differ from its own.

Governments in Canada and businesses, including big banks, have dedicated growing pools of resources to studying the possible applications of blockchain. Even the Bank of Canada itself has been collaborating as part of a research effort that has tested whether the technology could help underpin an inter-bank wholesale payment system.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Add a comment

Have your say on this topic! Comments that are thought to be disrespectful or offensive may be removed by our Benefits Canada admins. Thanks!

* These fields are required.
Field required
Field required
Field required