After a month-long test phase that enabled $22 million in real-value cross-border transactions, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has declared a multi-jurisdictional central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot to have been “successful.”
According to a blog post by the BIS, more than $12 million in value was issued onto the test platform, which enabled 164 foreign exchange transactions and cross-border payments amongst the participating enterprises totalling more than $22 million in value.
The pilot focused on wholesale CBDC cross-border payments and the role that central banks play on the platform, according to Daniel Eidan, a solution architect and advisor at the BIS. He added that “we will likely consider more commercial aspects in the future stages of our work.”
In addition to 20 commercial banks from Hong Kong, Thailand, China, and the United Arab Emirates, the pilot programme also included the central banks of the above-mentioned nations.
As part of Project Inthanon-LionRock, the platform mBridge was used in September 2019 by Hong Kong and Thailand in a project involving cross-border CBDC payments.
Since the initial platform pilot has been successfully concluded, the project has entered its final (third) phase. When the platform’s third and final stage is finished, it will only be released onto the market with its essential functionality—facilitating CBDC cross-border payments. According to a BIS paper, the CBDC cross-border payments platform won’t be ready for widespread use until it has undergone improvements and taken into account feedback from the basic version.
The BIS will release a comprehensive progress report on mBridge by October. It will most likely include several things like legal considerations, a plan of action for the platform and its technical design.
As of now, 10 countries have launched a digital version of their fiat currency. Jamaica became the latest country to launch the JAM-DEX. BIS had also reported that around 90% of central banks across the globe are exploring the option of rolling out a CBDC in the near future.