Commonwealth Bank of Australia has hinted at plans to import the \u201ccommercialised blockchain solution\u201d it has successfully trialled in South Africa.\nGiving his last results presentation at CBA yesterday morning, departing CEO Ian Narev revealed its South African digital bank \u2013 TymeDigital by Commonwealth Bank South Africa \u2013 had run an experiment with distributed ledger technology which would now be scaled up.\n \n\u201cOne of the aspects of this result we really do want to call out is that through this period and for the remainder of this year you are really seeing the benefits of our businesses offshore not just building business models in those markets but being an RD hub for the Commonwealth Bank to bring back into our developed markets,\u201d Narev said in a presentation to investors.\n \n\u201cSo there have been interesting examples, like the first commercialised blockchain solution in South Africa, which is an experiment we\u2019ve run and can now scale up enabling us to actually give the customers their own digital identity for use on the blockchain, where they\u2019re in control of it,\u201d he said.\n \nThe blockchain solution being readied for scale up in South Africa utilises the R3 Corda Distributed Ledger, the bank told CIO Australia.\nCBA invested in the R3 consortium last year along with more than 40 global financial institutions (since joined by National Australia Bank, Westpac, Macquarie Group). The functionality will be one of the first R3 Corda apps to be in production anywhere in the world, the bank added.\nIt\u2019s functionality will added to TymeCoach, a financial wellbeing platform for customers in a South Africa, and be made available this year.\n \n\u201cIt builds on the learnings of Blockchain experiments we have conducted both locally and globally on identity,\u201d a spokesperson told CIO Australia. \u201cThe product will build features over time utilising the power of distributed ledger technology.\u201d\nNarev added that the blockchain solution could soon make its way to Australian shores.\n \n\u201cSo beyond what we\u2019re doing within those markets we\u2019re seeing the signs of building capability in those markets for application back in our home markets and starting to disrupt ourselves,\u201d he explained.\nTymeDigital by CBSA sits within CBA\u2019s International Financial division. CBA bought the South African fintech Tyme (Take your money everywhere) in 2015.\n \nSince the buyout, CBA is quickly building TymeDigital into a full service digital bank, delivering services through self-service kiosks that allow users to authenticate themselves, verify their details and transfer money.\n \nTymeDigital was granted an operating licence from the South African Reserve Bank in September last year.\n \nAt the time Narev said he hoped TymeDigital would become a \u201csource of broader research and development for CBA\u201d. In yesterday\u2019s presentation, Narev said the kiosk technology developed by TymeDigital would be transferred into CBA\u2019s New Zealand arm ASB Bank, with 130 kiosks being rolled out this year.\nHuge potential\n \nCBA has been exploring the potential of blockchain technology since 2015, that year experimenting with the use of Rippletosettle transfers between group subsidiaries. In 2016, CIO David Whiteing said blockchain had \u201chuge potential\u201d.\n \nEarly last year the bank ran a \u2018cryptobond\u2019 experiment, building a capital market issuance platform to facilitate the raising of capital through the issuance of bonds, on the blockchain. It was tested by Queensland Treasury Corporation for the issuance of semi-government bonds.\n\u201cBuilding a transaction model that removes the bank may seem incredibly disruptive to ourselves, but we learned a huge amount from this experiment,\u201d wrote CBA\u2019s Sophie Gilder, who was appointed Head of Blockchain in 2016.\n \n\u201cMost significantly, we learned that even when we built the technology to directly facilitate a transfer of money and bonds from investor to issuer, there were still various roles requiring an intermediary \u2013 not to stand in the middle for the distribution process, but to provide other services such as provision of smart contracts and the vetting of parties to the transaction.\n \n\u201cThe reality of a completely disintermediated solution is much more nuanced than the theory,\u201d she added.\n \nIn 2016 the bank revealed it had partnered with US bank Wells Fargo and Brighann Cotton to successfully complete the first trade smart contract between two independent banks, \u201ccombining the emerging technologies of blockchain, smart contracts and Internet of Things\u201d.\n \nIn a November blog post Gilder added that in the main, CBA was looking at closed blockchains.\n \n\u201cFor most purposes we\u2019re not looking at open blockchains where anyone can join. Many of the blockchains that we imagine will exist in the future will be private and permissioned,\u201d she said.