A multi-jurisdictional Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot has been declared “successful” by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a consortium of central banks. Several Asian central banks participated in the month-long test phase that facilitated $22 million worth of real-value cross-border transactions.
Among prominent central banks that participated in this pilot project were the central banks of Hong Kong, Thailand, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Besides, some 20 commercial banks from these regions including Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Societe Generale, and China’s six biggest state-owned lenders were also involved in the project.
The test platform, known as mBridge—Multiple CBDC (mCBDC)—facilitated 164 foreign exchange transactions and cross-border payments involving the participating banks, according to a LinkedIn post from the BIS on 27 September.
mBridge full report expected in October
With the success of mBridge pilot project, the project will move into its third and final stage by putting the platform’s core functionality to market. However, a fully-functional CBDC cross payments platform will only be ready after revisions, taking into account the feedback from the initial version, according to a BIS report. Besides, a more detailed report will be released in October, covering technical design, legal, policy, and regulatory considerations, and a future roadmap of mBridge.
Status update on CBDCs
Many governments around the world are looking at launching CBDCs. So far, 11 CBDCs have been launched, while 15 projects are in the pilot stage and 26 are in development, according to the CBDC tracker from think tank Atlantic Council.