BIS launches ‘Project Atlas’ to monitor and collect DeFi data
Project Atlas is the latest in the Bank of International Settlements' substantial efforts to research, monitor, and develop blockchain technology.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), in partnership with central banks within the Eurosystem, has announced the launch of Project Atlas, a proof of concept aimed at exploring the economic impact of crypto assets and decentralized finance.
Project Atlas, a combined effort of the BIS Innovation Hub Eurosystem Centre, De Nederlandsche Bank, and the Deutsche Bundesbank, aims to streamline the data collection process from various crypto exchanges and public blockchains. The project aims to gather both on and off-chain data, standardize collection and monitoring methodologies, and assess findings against macroeconomic analysis.
The project’s primary focus is on improving data collection methodology and platform development, as current data on the crypto industry is scattered across numerous protocols, market actors, jurisdictions, with reporting often unregulated or non-standardized. According to the project report, Atlas uses transactions between crypto exchanges in the Bitcoin network and their geographical locations as a proxy for cross-border capital flows.
The BIS’s initiative to explore the significance of crypto assets and DeFi is part of a broader trend of central banks and financial institutions taking steps to better understand and regulate the rapidly growing industry.
For instance, the BIS previously emphasized the necessity of legal clarity in central bank digital currency (CBDC) development. Agustín Carstens, the BIS general manager, noted that almost 80% of central banks either lack the legal authority to issue a digital currency under their current regulations or face unclear legal parameters.
The BIS’s exploration of the crypto industry and Project Atlas is an important stride toward gaining a deeper understanding of this nascent industry. The effort reflects the continuous development of CBDCs and an ongoing discourse in the crypto community about the potential and pitfalls of DeFi.
Project Atlas is just the latest in a series of efforts by the BIS and other global financial institutions in understanding and potentially regulating the technology.