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BIS Indicates CBDC Issuance May Hinge on Private Sector Collaboration

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) issuance will only prove a success if the private and public sectors work together – as it pushes closer to real-world digital currency testing.

Source: Adobe/Stanislav

In a new report shared with, the BIS introduced what it has termed Project Helvetia, claiming that it is now looking at two proof-of-concept models that it has tested by issuing a Swiss franc wholesale CBDC “onto a near-live [distributed ledger technology-powered] test platform.

The report’s authors claimed that “detailed analysis showed that settlement in both approaches is legally feasible and robust.”

However, it appears that the BIS realizes that, without the private sector on the side of central banks, governments will struggle to get their CBDC projects off the ground.

The report’s authors wrote that their testing – conducted in conjunction with the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Six Group, the operator of a Zurich-based digital asset exchange – had proven to be “a tangible example of the value of cooperation as change gathers pace across the globe.

They added that “Private system operators and central banks alike have an incentive to preserve the use of safe money. Overcoming the policy challenges and technical obstacles will involve collaboration, including across borders.”

In a further indication that central banks will struggle to go it alone when it comes to CBDC issuance, the BIS report authors claimed,

“As private operators of financial market infrastructures drive innovation and new technologies, central banks are proving increasingly practical in thinking about how they can continue to meet their responsibility to provide a safe and liquid settlement asset. Within a central bank, those implementing monetary policy, monitoring financial stability and operating payment systems will all need to continue to work together on a coherent strategy to prepare for the future.”

The BIS’ willingness to turn to a digital asset exchange operator could be a sign that if central banks want to speed up the pace of their CBDC issuance, they may be forced to seek the help of companies working outside the conventional financial system.
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