The Nikkei Asian Review reported earlier this week that three of the largest banks in Japan had been testing domestic money transfer speeds on the blockchain. Their tests demonstrated that the blockchain transfer speeds are comparable to those seen on existing bank transfer systems. Though the banks have not yet been identified, they reportedly spent much of this past year testing their proof of concept in a research forum that also included Tokyo’s bitFlyer Bitcoin exchange and Deloitte Tohmatsu. Those tests ended in September.
The test results revealed a blockchain transaction rate of 1,500 intrabank transfers per second, slightly above the 1,400 transactions that the banking industry’s existing wire systems handle at peak operation. That result is sure to raise some eyebrows, given the fact that the blockchain network’s low speed has long been seen as something that would hinder more widespread adoption of the technology. Transaction speed might be just one of the many obstacles that need to be overcome prior to commercial adoption, but it has been an important one.
The banks reportedly plan to release their findings at some point in the coming months. For now, though, much work remains. Issues surrounding reliability and security still need to be resolved before the financial industry will be prepared to incorporate distributed ledger technology on a large scale. In the meantime, this group of unnamed banks has plans to work with various startup companies in an effort to develop the technology’s commercial applications.