In a groundbreaking development, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) joined forces with the central banks of France, Singapore, and Switzerland to successfully conduct a trial run of cross-border trading involving wholesale central bank digital currencies (wCBDCs), a report confirms.
The initiative, known as Project Mariana, executed a proof of concept employing hypothetical euro, Singapore dollar, and Swiss franc wCBDCs within simulated financial institutions. At the core of this project was the adoption of a common token standard on a public blockchain, designed to facilitate seamless interoperability and exchange of wCBDCs across diverse local payment and settlement systems managed by participating central banks.
As an integral part of this experiment, Project Mariana sought to explore the potential landscape of foreign exchange settlement in a scenario where central banks have issued a CBDC. This aligns with a global trend where an increasing number of nations, particularly in Europe and Asia, are actively considering the issuance of wholesale CBDCs.
Cecilia Skingsley, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, lauded Project Mariana for its pioneering use of innovative technology within interbank foreign exchange markets:
“Project Mariana pioneers the use of novel technology for interbank foreign exchange markets. It successfully demonstrated that it is feasible to exchange wholesale CBDC across borders using novel concepts such as automated market makers (AMM).”
This forward-looking perspective underscores the broader implications of Project Mariana, signaling a potential shift towards a more technologically advanced and efficient financial landscape enabled by wCBDCs and blockchain-based solutions.