A system to track cryptocurrency trades is being developed by the Bank for International Settlements and a few central banks in Europe.
A proof-of-concept (PoC) system recording on-chain and off-chain transactions from cryptocurrency exchanges and public blockchains, including Bitcoin, has been created by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
The BIS has launched a successful Proof of Concept (PoC) named Project Atlas in collaboration with the Deutsche Bundesbank, De Nederlandsche Bank, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of France to assess the macroeconomic importance of cryptocurrency markets and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
The BIS Innovation Hub detailed the idea in its publication, citing a lack of transparency and potential risks to financial stability, including high-profile failures in the crypto-space like the Terra ecosystem collapse in 2022. The concept aims to provide insights, information, and economic implications of the sector.
The initiative combines on-chain data from public blockchains collected by nodes with off-chain data from bitcoin exchanges. Project Atlas tracked cryptocurrency flows across geographical locations in the initial proof-of-concept version.
The initial method substitutes for cross-border capital flows transactions in the Bitcoin network that are attributed to centralized exchanges together with the location of such exchanges.
Due to the difficulty of identifying the country where exchanges are taking place, the methodology states that flows are probably lower-bound estimates of actual transaction volumes. However, the initial Project Atlas pilot shows that inter-exchange is “significant and substantial economically.”
Project Atlas now has a front end that displays dashboards that highlight the outcomes of data collection and analysis, including on-chain transactions and the movement of funds globally.
The PoC will give a summary of cross-border flows and give central banks a way to assess the relative economic importance of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in various jurisdictions:
“The data will allow flows to be analyzed structurally and the influence of price shocks, financial market developments and country characteristics on crypto flows to be investigated.”
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