- Three central banks, including Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Central Bank of Kazakhstan, integrate with SWIFT’s CBDC interoperability project.
- SWIFT’s recent expansion increases sandbox participants to over 30, pushing the boundaries of CBDC technology.
Navigating the CBDC Landscape: SWIFT’s New Partnerships
The world of digital currencies is experiencing a transformative shift as bank messaging giant, SWIFT, rolls out the next phase of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) interoperability project. On September 13, SWIFT revealed the incorporation of three prominent central banks into its beta testing phase: the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Central Bank of Kazakhstan, and a yet-to-be-disclosed central bank.
Today's #Fintech Digest includes SWIFT beta testing interlinking #CBDC with existing fiat infrastructures, and Telegram integrating The Open Network (TON) based self-custodial crypto wallet into its 800 million active user messaging platform. https://t.co/37R1YAVtMC pic.twitter.com/HkaxqEzPKF
— John Kiff (@Kiffmeister) September 13, 2023
These institutions have seamlessly merged their frameworks with SWIFT’s pioneering “CBDC connector solution” – a platform tailored for direct and intensive testing of CBDC interoperability.
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A Glimpse into SWIFT’s CBDC Evolution
The inception of this sandbox testing traces back to March, initially involving a distinguished ensemble of over 18 participants. Some of these inaugural members encompassed leading names in the financial sphere such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Banque de France, and Deutsche Bundesbank, to mention a few. This sandbox observed an impressive tally of over 5,000 transactions within a mere 12 weeks. With the current expansion, the participant count escalates beyond 30.
In a more holistic view of SWIFT’s endeavors around digital currencies, the organization has previously spearheaded other CBDC-centric initiatives. A notable project involves a wholesale CBDC endeavor jointly pursued with the New York Federal Reserve Bank, operationalizing a regulated liability network.
Yet, it’s essential to understand the background here. SWIFT, a messaging conduit connecting a staggering 11,500+ global financial entities, finds itself at a crossroads with CBDCs. This new wave of digital currency technology presents competition, potentially rivalling SWIFT’s dominant position. However, the ongoing CBDC bridging ventures backed by esteemed organizations like the Bank for International Settlements underscore this evolving dynamic.
Amidst these progressive strides, SWIFT proudly announced a milestone in August. A commendable 89% of its transactional activities culminated within a span of 60 minutes, surpassing the G20’s ambitious target of achieving 75% of such swift settlements by 2027. Furthermore, a significant 84% of these transactions took place directly or via a singular intermediary. Though it’s pivotal to note, due to factors like regulatory protocols and operational timings, a mere 60% of wholesale transactions realized this one-hour benchmark.
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