The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland has announced it could take a blockchain-inspired service “to market” in 2016.

The move, which would focus on “the fringes of payments,” comes following the bank’s involvement in setting up blockchain focus group R3 consortium with other UK banks in September.

 RBS spokesman John Lyons commented further to Computer Weekly on the project and R3 setup:

“Like most people, we’re in the ‘learn and explore’ phase with blockchain [...] Distributed ledger and blockchain requires a number of parties to be involved. Being involved in contributing to the development of protocols and standards and learning through that and with others is a priority.”

“Do we see opportunity for blockchain around payments? Yes,” he added.

A 2016 release would put RBS ahead of their commercial banking competition in terms of blockchain use, but it is as yet unclear as to the precise degree of trust which would be placed on the nascent technology.

RBS’ head of payments strategy and innovation Damian Richards had previously discussed the potential of blockchain use in practice at the EBAday Conference back in May. Richards specifically pointed out the potential for emergency overseas transactions to be made to customers, a process which currently still relies on inefficient antiquated backend systems being synched and reconciled with one another to confirm payment authenticity.