European Central Banks Are About to Launch Wholesale CBDCs

The Banque de France has reported on the successful testing of wholesale CBDC (wCBDC). A total of seven out of nine planned tests have been carried out. At the Swiss National Bank, experiments with wCBDC have already been completed. It just takes a policy decision. 

European central banks are about to launch wholesale CBDCs

Representatives of the Swiss National Bank claimed that technically wCBDC can go live on newly licensed Six Digital Exchange (SDX) in 2022. All the necessary licenses have already been received from FINMA. Technically, wCBDC will operate within R3′s permissioned Corda network, which will make it possible to conduct atomic swaps.

Experiments with wCBDC in Switzerland have been ongoing since 2019. Since then, the legal and technical side of the issue has been studied, tokenized asset settlement and integration into the banking infrastructure have been tried out. Real transactions within the system are scheduled to take place in November. A detailed report is about to be published in January 2022. 

In parallel, the Banque de France provided the wCBDC test results. A total of ten trials were planned from 2020. The plan was to test the possibility of cross-border transfers, cross-currency payments and securities settlements. Successful interbank transactions using CBDCs have been previously reported.

By the end of 2021, the Banque de France plans to complete the two remaining trials in partnership with the Swiss National Bank and HSBC. Moreover, the plan is to investigate the macroeconomic impact of issuing a wholesale CBDC and the sustainability, energy efficiency, and scalability of such a payment system.

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