Project Atlas: Bank for International Settlements Tackles Crypto Tracking with EU Central Banks – Here’s the Latest

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
BIS building in Basel, Switzerland. Source: Adobe/doganmesut

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and four European central banks have rolled out a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) system to track the global flow of cryptocurrency assets. 

The partnership with the BIS was struck with the European Central Bank, Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank and Nederlandsche Bank to monitor on-chain and off-chain transactions on public networks including Bitcoin.

Project Atlas seeks to improve how financial authorities deal with crypto assets and their issuers while it tracks international asset flows.

Per the release, regulators developed various ways of monitoring exchange but Project Atlas enhances the macroeconomic relevance of the market to countries, giving them the right data while shaping policies.

Project Atlas provides data tailored to the needs of central banks and financial regulators. It fuses data gathered from crypto exchanges (off-chain data) with data from public blockchains (on-chain data) gathered from nodes. By connecting various sources, Atlas allows for data vetting, giving users tools to evaluate these markets’ economic significance more accurately.”

Market manipulation: The need to protect users

The documents highlight growth in decentralized finance (DeFi) and related services but a lack of grip on the sector by regulators

This unfortunate situation has led to increased fraud by bad actors and industry implosions that could have been prevented should authorities have the required data. 

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), widespread adoption without sufficient grip of regulators can undermine government policies. 

Atlas goes ahead of the situation by utilizing robust analytical indices to break down data which will be shared with the global central bank community. 

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.”

BIS urges central banks to adopt custom platforms 

While many blockchain intelligence sites provide insights on crypto transactions, the BIS argues that information on those platforms is often limited to trading without any tailored to the regulator’s needs.

Secondly, crypto and DeFi transactions are more difficult to track and utilize than traditional financial assets, increasing the risk of regulatory grip in the market.

Furthermore, the methodology for gathering information across multiple chains is often a “black box” giving central banks less chance of gathering data across its jurisdiction. 

Finally, the market manipulation tendencies of bad actors and some industry executives may spur them to inflate key data like the transaction volumes giving them an edge over others.

Atlas helps central bank regulators create a safe investment space for all stakeholders minimizing risks of fraudulent activities.