OeNB Explores Blockchain for Digital Assets and Payments

Posted on Mar 24, 2022 by Johannes Duong, Treasurer, Oesterreichische Nationalbank

The OeNB and the Eurosystem

As the central bank of the Republic of Austria, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) has been part of the Eurosystem since the start of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the introduction of the euro in 1999. The Eurosystem, which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the euro area national central banks, is responsible for a coherent monetary policy in the euro area – the second-largest economic area in the world after the USA.

As trends in digitalization and innovation increasingly impact on the traditional financial world, the growing importance of fintech topics has also come to the fore. The OeNB keeps a close eye on the trends and developments revolving around these topics and related technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain. In doing so, the OeNB keeps regular contact with a number of institutions for in-depth exchanges of experience. To promote innovation and foster new ideas, the OeNB moreover set up an innovation laboratory (OeNB Innovation Lab), allowing its staff to experiment with new technology and break new ground within the framework of selected projects. One of these projects is the Delivery vs. Payment Hybrid Initiative, or DELPHI for short.

In 2021, the OeNB joined forces with OeKB CSD GmbH, the Austrian Treasury (the Republic’s debt management office OeBFA), Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Erste Group Bank AG to launch DELPHI, a joint research project to explore the suitability of blockchain technology for digital payments in securities transactions. Set up as a sandbox project, DELPHI investigates ... 

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