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Swiss Central Bank to Launch Real-World CBDC Pilot

Jai Pratap
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: SIX Group/Canva

The chairman of Swiss Central Bank,Thomas Jordan, has announced that the central bank is launching a wholesale CBDC on Switzerland’s SIX digital exchange as part of a pilot. 

In a conference at Zurich on Monday, the Swiss central bank chair said that the project would begin soon, Reuters reported

The wholesale CBDC pilot will run on the Swiss SIX digital exchange for a limited time, the bank chair said. 

Swiss Central Bank Remains Cautious of Retail CBDC

The Swiss Central Bank has continued to remain skeptical of the idea of a retail central bank-backed digital currency. Swiss bank chair Jordan expressed his concern about potential risks retail CBDCs could have for the financial system. 

He added that the use of retail CBDCs was more difficult to control. 

“We do not exclude that we will never introduce retail [CBDCs] but nevertheless we are a little bit prudent at the moment.”

Speaking on a separate panel at the Zero Point Forum,the central bank’s governor Andrea Maechler said that despite exploring CBDCs, the SNB does not see cash disappearing in Switzerland. 

Andrea said that it is the one way that retail households can hold central bank money. “That feature needs to be maintained irrespective of the technology,” she added. 

Several Central Banks Crossing The Finishing Line on CBDC

Earlier this month, the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said that at least 10 central banks are “already crossing the finish line” on issuing a central bank digital currency. 

However, there is “a lot that is still not decided” when it comes to organizing and regulating CBDCs, she added. 

The IMF also revealed earlier that it is working on a worldwide infrastructure for CBDCs in order to allow for interoperability of the digital currencies and increase their utilization.

Currently, over 100 central banks around the world are exploring their own CBDC.

All countries in the G7 economies have now shifted from the research phase of a CBDC to the development stage, signaling concrete pilot projects.