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The Technological Observatory is one of the three projects set out in Focus 4 of the Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. It is an internal management tool to actively research and analyze potential opportunities and impacts of disruptive technologies within the Bank’s competence fields.

The Observatory fulfills its duties within the framework of 3 main goals:

  • To facilitate internal coordination.
  • To facilitate cooperation and the strengthening of external networks.
  • To promote the development of knowledge on issues related to Disruptive Technologies.

In a nutshell, the Technological Observatory is an internal catalyst for knowledge building and the adoption of disruptive technologies within the institution.

Inquiries Concerning the Technological Observatory

If you have any inquiries regarding the work of the Observatory or its publications, you can contact us at


Focal Points

The Focal Points are specific topics related to Disruptive Technologies that have an agenda within the duties of the Technological Observatory. The Bank currently focuses on eight topics.
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Big Data and the Digital Economy

The development of economic activities in increasingly digital environments poses new challenges for the measurement and assessment of macro- and microeconomic data, which could be useful either for the Central Bank in particular or the economy in general.

Nowadays, there are multiple information sources, and hence data have acquired great complexity. This Focal Point seeks to deepen the knowledge and strengthen the application of emerging methodologies regarding the collection, processing or analysis of economic data. Among other technologies that could be relevant to the Bank, Big Data, Neural Language and Machine Learning stand out.

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Digital Payments

This Focal Point refers to new payment behaviors linked to the use of technologies in a broad sense, such as payment behaviors performed either by digital social interaction platforms, through electronic devices like cell phones and tablets, or by latest remittance services facilitated by new technological ecosystems.

It is worth pointing out that this Focal Point has a wider reference framework than the Bank’s duty of ensuring the normal functioning of the payments system. In this sense, the Bank considers relevant to observe and explore digital payment activities and initiatives in a broad context, either in terms of local development or in terms of the international context, considering payment infrastructures as well as the implications of new behaviors for the economic activity.

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Central Bank Digital Currencies

The Central Bank needs to remain adequately informed with new paradigms and mechanisms that could potentially be implemented by central banks. This context strongly motivates the exploration and research linked to the digital issuance of money.

One interesting categorization of digital money issuance considers the difference between a conventional record account structure and a digital token-based issuance. Examples of the former are the bank reserves in the central bank, while a case of the latter is the issuance of central bank digital money with the distributed ledger technology (DLT, or Blockchain).

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Distributed Ledger Technology

Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is a technology for recording and storing data, in which:

  • (1) information is recorded across multiple users or nodes, and;
  • (2) a particular record confirmation protocol or algorithm, based on cryptographic systems, is employed.

The Observatory’s aim is to study this technology in greater depth in order to improve the financial operations, large value payments and other operations managed by the Bank, without neglecting other potential uses and more general benefits it may have.

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Cryptoassets and Financial Stability

Cryptoassets are instruments created with distributed ledger technology (DLT, or blockchain). These objects are interpreted as a digital object of value. In some cases, cryptoassets could be posed as a medium of exchange, thus emulating some characteristics of money as a mean of payment.

The Bank’s interest in this Focal Point focuses on its implications for financial stability.

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Open Banking

In its broadest sense, Open Banking involves an understanding of financial services where users manage the access financial service providers have to their personal and financial information at their own discretion. Users can decide to group services into multiple different entities.

In a strict sense, Open Banking refers to the standardization and transparency of data delivery by financial service providers. This enables the development of financial services by third parties, using information from financial or personal institutions, through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

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Cybersecurity and Financial Stability

A broad definition of Cybersecurity involves the set of measurements, assessments, actions and monitoring tools for the protection of information that may be directly or indirectly linked to cyberspace.

The Central Bank understands cybersecurity from the perspective of its own functioning and of the impact cybersecurity events and policies may have on financial stability. The latter is the Observatory’s research focus.

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Supervisory Technology

Also known as SupTech or RegTech, it refers to the use of disruptive technologies by supervisors who become more efficient and proactive in monitoring risks by digitizing reports and regulatory processes. The main areas of this axis currently under study are data collection, assessment, monitoring and analysis.