During the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, development banks from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa agreed to collaborate on research on distributed ledger technology including blockchain. The five BRICS nations often cooperate on economic, political and cultural issues common to their emerging economies and have now agreed to include blockchain technology in their collaborative efforts. State-owned development banks Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development, Vnesheconombank, Export-Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of Southern Africa announced on July 26 that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a joint study of how distributed ledger technology could be applied to develop financial tools and instruments for a digital economy. The development banks already cooperate in many areas to encourage development of financial instruments and credit financing tools to support economic development and strong national currencies. This cooperative research into distributed ledger technology aims to explore the implementation of technological innovations to further those goals of economic development. The banks hope the technology will create new opportunities for large industrial projects, infrastructure finance, exports, investments and bank service optimization. This BRICS Summit is particularly focused on addressing changing economic development strategies in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution, and this research collaboration is expected to play an important role in those strategy innovations. This BRICS banking study follows an announcement from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe of their own study into blockchain technology. RBZ indicated an eventual goal of integrating the technology into its business processes in order to better keep up to date with blockchain innovations in banking institutions worldwide. Indeed, many banks worldwide have implemented blockchain solutions in a variety of applications. The Bank of Thailand is examining possible blockchain solutions for fraud protection and cross-border payments, and Bank of America recently filed a patent for a blockchain system to externally validate data.