Swiss central bank digital money passes test

Ein further test of Swiss National Bank (SNB) with digital central bank money was successful. The SNB announced on Thursday that it had been possible to run the digital money based on blockchain technology via the IT systems of commercial banks. In addition to the SNB, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the stock exchange group SIX, the commercial banks Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and UBS also took part in the experiment.

The second phase of the so-called Helvetia project took place in the fourth quarter of 2021. The settlement of interbank, monetary policy and cross-border transactions on the test systems of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the Swiss settlement system SIX Interbank Clearing (SIC) and the core banking systems was examined. The success of the Helvetia project should not be taken as an indication of a planned issue of digital central bank money by the SNB, it said.

The Swiss central bank had already reported a successful test run with digital versions of the euro and the franc in December. However, this form of digital currency is reserved for financial institutions to make transactions faster, cheaper and more reliable. A digital currency issued by central banks for the general public is still a long way off, at least in Europe.

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