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France, Switzerland conclude major wholesale CBDC test with BIS

France and Switzerland have completed a test for the use of a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) in cross-border transfers. Known as Project Jura, it also saw the participation of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and involved settling foreign exchange transactions in euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs.

“Project Jura investigated whether distributed ledger technology can help make settlements simpler, cheaper, and faster using wholesale central bank digital currencies,” the BIS states in its video review.

The project kicked off in June, with the BIS Innovation Hub, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of France taking the lead. It was part of a series of CBDC tests by the French central bank. In another experiment, the bank investigated whether a wholesale CBDC would be suitable for securities settlement, and as CoinGeek reported, this was a success.

With Project Jura, the three banks brought onboard stakeholders from the private sector as well. Credit Suisse, Natixis, Accenture, UBS, R3, and SIX Digital Exchange participated in the experiment, which “took place in a near-real setting with real value being transferred involving the test platform of a licensed central security depository for tokenized assets.”

The project kicked off in June, with the BIS Innovation Hub, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of France taking the lead. It was part of a series of CBDC tests by the French central bank. In another experiment, the bank investigated whether a wholesale CBDC would be suitable for securities settlement, and as CoinGeek reported, this was a success.

The banks explored the direct transfer of euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs between Swiss and French commercial banks on a single distributed ledger technology platform operated by a third party, the BIS revealed in its press release. The bank revealed that tokenized assets and FX transactions were settled safely and efficiently.

Sylvie Goulard, the deputy governor of the Bank of France, commented, “with the great success of Jura, the wholesale CBDC experiment programme launched by the Banque de France in 2020 is now completed. Jura demonstrates how wholesale CBDCs can optimise cross-currency and cross-border settlements, which are a key facet of international transactions.”

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