Swift to beta test CBDC interlinking solution with central banks

Swift says it will test CBDC interoperability alongside three central banks to explore further use cases.

Interbank messaging company Swift has entered the second phase of its sandbox experiments with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as “interest in interoperability solution grows.”

In a press release on Sept. 14, the banking network revealed that three central banks alongside 30 financial institutions will beta test Swift’s interlinking solution for CBDC.

The document mentions that the Reserve Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bundesbank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Bank of Thailand, and CLS will participate in the experiment.

They will explore new use cases for CBDC, including “trigger-based payments for digital trade platforms, foreign exchange models, delivery vs. payment and liquidity saving mechanisms.” Moreover, HKMA and the National Bank of Kazakhstan have integrated the interlinking solution with their banking infrastructures “for direct testing,” Swift said.

“The financial community has already recognized the strong potential of our CBDC innovations for preventing digital islands while securely bridging the payment systems of today and the future.”

Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at Swift

Swift’s first phase of the experiment was completed in March 2023. It included 18 central and commercial banks and revealed that CBDCs can improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments while reducing costs.

In the first phase, the participants simulated almost 5,000 transactions between two blockchains with existing fiat-based payment systems, Swift noted. The pilot also identified the need for interoperability between CBDCs issued by different central banks to facilitate seamless transactions.

Swift says that with the pilot, it wants to be ready to scale the usage of digital currencies and tokenized assets “if and when they are deployed into the financial ecosystem.”

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