BIS applies DeFi principles to cross-border wCBDC tests

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the central banks of France, Singapore and Switzerland have successfully tested the cross-border trading and settlement of wholesale central bank digital currencies (wCBDCs) between financial institutions, using new decentralised finance (DeFi) technology concepts on a public blockchain.

Project Mariana was developed jointly by three BIS Innovation Hub centres in Switzerland, Singapore and Europe, together with Bank of France, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Swiss National Bank.

The project’s proof of concept successfully tested the cross-border trading and settlement of hypothetical euro, Singapore dollar and Swiss franc wCBDCs between simulated financial institutions.

The DeFi element was provided by an Automated Market Maker, which is a specific type of decentralised exchange to trade and settle spot FX transactions automatically.

While not endorsing the use of DeFi, the BIS says these protocols could be used by the next generation of financial market infrastructures facilitating cross-border trading and settlement between financial institutions.

“As tokenisation and DeFi technologies are still nascent, further research and experimentation is needed,” emphasizes the BIS. “The BIS Innovation Hub and its global partners will continue exploring their benefits and challenges based on relevant use cases.”

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