Despite its insistence that market ramifications of non-fiat cryptocurrency remain “pretty limited,” the European Central Bank is aware of the potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT), as evidenced by a recent job posting.
The ECB is on the hunt for a “distributed ledger technologies specialist in market infrastructure and payments.”
Available to European Union nationals, the Frankfurt-based position is a one-year appointment, which would last until February 28, 2019. Applications will be accepted until January 10, 2018.
The bank explains that the position will allow the selected individual to study DLT and artificial intelligence in a “dynamic environment” and “explore the opportunities and challenges deriving from new technologies from a central bank perspective.”
As a DLT specialist you will:
– assess DLT and AI solutions against the background of the service levels of existing market infrastructure services;
– monitor technological developments in the areas of DLT and AI;
– contribute to the design of proof of concepts in the area of market infrastructure services; [and]
– develop prototypes and conduct practical experiments with DLT-based solutions in close cooperation with the IT counterparts.
The job posting is an indication that the ECB is taking financial innovation seriously, especially in light of the interest in cryptocurrency.
Last month, Yves Mersch, an ECB executive board member and former governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, implored banks to deliver instantaneous payment systems to “provide an alternative narrative to the ongoing public debate” on what he called the “alleged innovation brought by virtual currency schemes.”
The ECB previously explored DLT in September 2017, when it discussed DLT in a joint analysis of Project Stella, undertaken with the Bank of Japan. The institutions found that DLT, while “immature,” shows potential in financial market infrastructures including real-time gross settlement systems.