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BIS to develop Big Data open source prototype

BIS to develop Big Data open source prototype

The Bank for International Settlements is working on a data-streaming prototype capable of handling 2000 data points every second.

Dubbed Project Rio, the new framework is being developed across the network of innovation hubs established by the central bankers' bank in major financial locations last year.

A multi-disiciplinary team of technologists and economists is developing the system, which will use data-streaming technology - as originally developed by social media platforms - to analyse and respond to user traffic.

"We are building on open-source code to develop a monitoring tool for central banks," explains Agustin Carstens, BIS general manager. "A tool that will pull millions of messages from multiple trading venues but can also scale to higher speeds. We plan to test it in volatile markets requiring seven million updates an hour - that is almost 2,000 every second. This is what it will take to alert central banks to market dislocations, liquidity issues and volatility in real time."

He says the BIS has already consulted with 40 central banks on the project and that a protptype will be ready next year.

New tools require new skills to use and new teams to be formed, notes Carstens. The team building the Rio prototype includes an FX quant, a research economist, a data scientist, a programmer and an analyst. Beyond this, BIS economists are working with lawyers, anthropologists, geographers and computer scientists in their research on digitalisation.

"This cross-collaboration in multi-disciplinary teams will be the new normal for working in central banks," he says. "By broadening our perspective through a multi-disciplinary team the effects of novel technologies can be better understood. For example, recent BIS research work on the technology of retail CBDC brings together experience in computer science, economics, and central banking. In this case, the result was a framework for the design of fiat digital currency, the CBDC Pyramid. By understanding the import of different technologies, central bankers can start to assess the trade-offs involved in different design choices.

"These collaborations will be even easier in the future as remote working allows more flexibility in how teams and workplaces can be structured. At the Innovation Hub, working together across borders is routine, using the new video technologies but also with collaboration platforms and cloud-based systems."

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