Natixis, SIX Digital Exchange to join central banks and BIS Innovation Hub for wholesale CBDC experiment

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, the Bank of France and the Swiss National Bank announced that, together with a private sector consortium led by Accenture, they will conduct an experiment using wholesale CBDC for cross-border settlement. The private sector consortium includes Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS.

Known as Project Jura, the experiment will explore cross-border settlement with two wCBDCs and a French digital financial instrument on a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform. It will involve the exchange of the financial instrument against a euro wCBDC through a delivery versus payment (DvP) settlement mechanism and the exchange of a euro wCBDC against a Swiss franc wCBDC through a payment versus payment (PvP) settlement mechanism. These transactions will be settled between banks domiciled in France and in Switzerland, respectively.

“The Eurosystem is engaging in innovation and adapting its actions to the strong trend towards the digitalization of payments. The Banque de France is convinced of the potential benefits of wholesale central bank digital currency to provide maximum security and efficiency in financial transactions, and opened last year an experimental programme to make progress in this area. In this perspective, we are delighted to be able to conduct an important experiment – called Jura – on cross-border settlement in partnership with the Swiss National Bank and the BIS Innovation Hub,” said Sylvie Goulard, deputy governor of the Banque de France, in a statement.

“It is essential for central banks to stay on top of technological developments. The Swiss National Bank is already investigating the settlement of tokenized assets with wCBDC as part of Project Helvetia. We are looking forward to expanding this analysis to a cross-border context by participating in this exciting initiative,” said Andréa M Maechler, member of the Governing Board at Swiss National Bank, in a statement.

Project Jura expands on central bank experimentation investigating the effectiveness of wCBDC for cross-border settlement. It is of exploratory nature and should not be interpreted as an indication that the Bank of France or the Swiss National Bank plan to issue wCBDCs.

Read the full release

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