SWIFT network tastes success in CBDC payment trials


Global payment system SWIFT announced that it has successfully moved CBDCs and tokenized assets on its existing infrastructure in two different experiments.

The experiments were conducted in association with 14 central and commercial banks, including the central banks of France and Germany, HSBC, NatWest, Standard Chartered, UBS, and Wells Fargo. This clears the way for more collaboration among the participating entities to speed up the transition to full-scale deployment. The successful experiments are a major milestone for a smooth integration of CBDCs into the international financial ecosystem, according to the Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

The SWIFT network has over 11,500 financial institutions and the findings from two different experiments solve a significant challenge of interoperability in cross-border transactions by bridging between different blockchain technologies and existing payment networks.

Interlinking CBDCs

In the first experiment, SWIFT in collaboration with Capgemini successfully conducted fiat-to-CBDC and CBDC-to-CBDC transactions between different blockchain networks based on Quorum and Corda technologies in a real-time gross settlement system.

The experiment showcased that blockchain networks could be interconnected for cross-border transactions through a single gateway and SWIFT’s existing transaction management capabilities could manage all inter-network communication.

Unlocking the potential of tokenized assets

In the second experiment with different groups of participants, SWIFT showcased how its platform can be an interconnector between multiple tokenization platforms and different types of cash payment platforms.

The second experiment was conducted in collaboration with Citi, Clearstream, Northern Trust, and SETL- its technology partner, and explored 70 different scenarios simulating market issuance and secondary market transfers of tokenized assets like bonds, equities, and cash. Its platform served as a single access point to various tokenized networks and how its infrastructure could be used to create, redeem, and transfer tokenized assets.

In the press release, Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT, commented: “Digital currencies and tokens have huge potential to shape the way we will all pay and invest in the future. But that potential can only be unleashed if the different approaches that are being explored have the ability to connect and work together.”

On CBDCs, Zschach said: “For CBDCs, our solution will enable central banks to connect their own networks simply and directly to all the other payments systems in the world through a single gateway, ensuring the instant and smooth flow of cross-border payments.”

The World Economic Forum (WEF) expects transaction value through tokenization could reach $27 trillion by 2027.

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