France, Singapore and Switzerland test cross-border CBDCs

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the central banks of France, Singapore and Switzerland concluded a joint test of the cross-border trading and settlement of wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The Banque de France issued the report on Sept. 28.

The so-called Project Mariana was developed by the Banque de France, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Swiss National Bank under the aegis of the BIS. It has tested the cross-border trading and settlement of hypothetical euro, Singapore dollar and Swiss franc CBDCs between simulated financial institutions using decentralized finance (DeFi) technology concepts on a public blockchain.

The concept works by using a common token standard on a public blockchain, bridges for the seamless transfer of CBDCs between different networks, and a specific type of decentralized exchange to trade and settle spot foreign exchange transactions automatically.

Related: BIS gives CBDCs a thumbs up, crypto the middle finger in reports to G20 ministers

According to the release, the participants consider the experiment successful, though “further research and experimentation is needed.” It also makes a reservation about the experimental nature of Project Mariana, stating:

“Project Mariana is purely experimental and does not indicate that any of the partner central banks intend to issue CBDC or endorse DeFi or a particular technological solution.”

The day before the release of Project Mariana went public, BIS general manager Agustín Carstens spoke about the necessity of clarifying the national legal frameworks in those countries where the central banks don’t have a right to issue CBDC.

The BIS remains the principal promoter of cross-border CBDCs, with several pilot tests being run around the globe. Thus, in September, the central banks of Hong Kong and Israel released the results of their Project Sela, while Hong Kong Monetary Authority CEO Eddie Yue announced the expansion of the Project mBridge, which has already included the central banks of China, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

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