SWIFT Banking Network Conducts New Global Phase of CBDC Testing

by Jamie White March 12th 2023, 11:57 am

The interbank messaging company SWIFT is moving forward on a project to build a standardized global interlinking Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) system.

The project for CBDC cross-border payments involved 18 central and commercial banks from around the world, including the Banque de France, Royal Bank of Canada, Société Générale, HSBC, Deutsche Bundesbank, NatWest, UBS, France’s BNP Paribas, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, the UL’s Standard Chartered (STAN), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“While interest in CBDCs is growing, so is the risk of fragmentation as a widening range of technologies and standards is being experimented with,” Lewis Sun, global head of domestic and emerging payments at HSBC, said in a statement, adding that the SWIFT project may lead to “faster, cheaper and more secure cross-border payments.”

Naturally, the banks are eager to see SWIFT’s CBDC project through.

“The central and commercial banks involved in the project saw ‘clear potential and value’ in SWIFT’s CBDC project,” CNBC reported last week.

SWIFT said the project’s tests had so far shown that CBDCs and traditional currencies can “co-exist” in the same “financial ecosystem.”

“Our experiments have shown the critical role that SWIFT can play in a financial ecosystem in which digital and traditional currencies co-exist,” said Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT. 

“Our solution has been successfully tested across almost 5,000 transactions between two different blockchain networks and a traditional fiat currency, and we’re delighted to have the support of our community in developing it further.”

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