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French and Swiss central banks hail completed wholesale CBDC trial

French and Swiss central banks hail completed wholesale CBDC trial

The Banque de France, the Swiss National Bank and BIS Innovation Hub are hailing the completion of their cross-border wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) experiment.

Accenture, Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS also took part in the experiment, dubbed Project Jura, which explored cross-border settlement of tokenised assets in wCBDCs on a DLT-enabled platform.

It involved the direct transfer of euro and Swiss franc wCBDCs between French and Swiss commercial banks on a single DLT platform operated by a third party. Tokenised asset and foreign exchange trades were settled using payment versus payment and delivery versus payment mechanisms. The experiment was conducted in a near-real setting, using real-value transactions and complying with current regulatory requirements.

The partners say that Jura is novel in two ways. First, it tests a new approach to promote secure, fast and efficient cross-border settlements by extending the safety of central bank money to cross-border settlements between resident and non-resident financial institutions using multiple wCBDCs.

Second, it shows a new approach that may give central banks comfort to issue wCBDC on a third-party platform with separate sub-networks and to allow regulated non-resident financial institutions access to wCBDC.

Sylvie Goulard, deputy governor, Bank of France, says: "Jura demonstrates how wholesale CBDCs can optimise cross-currency and cross-border settlements, which are a key facet of international transactions."

Benoît Cœuré, head, BIS Innovation Hub, adds: "Project Jura confirms that a well designed wholesale CBDC can play a critical role as a safe and neutral settlement asset for international financial transactions. It also demonstrates how central banks and the private sector can work together across borders to foster innovation."

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