Central Banks of France and Switzerland announce successful trial of digital Euro, Swiss Franc

Although the project was a success, the central banks warned that significant rulebooks, contingency procedures and monitoring capabilities were needed to ensure the success of a CBDC.

On Wednesday, the Banque de France (BdF), the BIS Innovation Hub (BISIH) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced the success of a pilot run of a wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC), titled Project Jura. The project, which aimed to investigate cross‑border settlement with euro and Swiss franc wCBDCs, was launched on a third‑party distributed ledger technology platform.

The experimental technology explored in Project Jura consisted of a decentralized peer‑to‑peer network of computer nodes (Corda) to validate transactions while simultaneously ensuring that all legal, regulatory and business rules of governing nations are satisfied. Then, there was the tokenization of the aforementioned fiat currencies and the Negotiable European Commercial Paper, a short-term maturity (one year or less) debt instrument denominated in euros. Finally, Project Jura looked into infrastructure networks that enable real‑time gross settlement of transactions, bond digitization and a digital assets registry.

Although the trial was successful, it does not guarantee the issuance of a wCBDC by Swiss, French or European Union authorities. The report concluded that “wCBDCs could be incorporated into novel settlement arrangements that could change the structure and functioning of capital markets, money markets and foreign exchange markets,” saying that:

“Broadening the use of central bank money through wider access or increased cross‑border settlement could catalyse these changes, as could deeper integration of currencies with other digital assets and securities.”

Experimental Architecture of Digital EUR/CHF | Source: BISIH

SBI announces crypto joint venture with Swiss digital exchange SIX

The crypto venture is expected to formalize its operation by the end of 2021 and start offering its services by early 2022.

SBI Digital Asset Holdings, a fully owned subsidiary of Japanese banking giant SBI Holdings, announced a joint crypto venture with Switzerland’s SIX digital exchange (SDX). 

The joint venture would be set up in Singapore through a crypto issuance company and aims to become a regional liquidity hub for institutions. SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said:

“This is an important step in building the necessary global infrastructure for widespread institutional adoption of digital assets. Together with SDX‘s strength in Switzerland and our planned digital exchange in Osaka, this venture will establish a powerful institutional corridor between Europe and Asia.”

The partnership between SBI and SIX banks on growing crypto demand in the Asia-Pacific region and will cater its services to regulated institutions. The venture is expected to formalize its operations by the end of 2021 and start offering its services by early 2022 following regulatory clearance from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The new undertaking will offer a range of digital asset products and services in the form of tokenized securities such as digital bonds, digital equities and digital securitized loans.

SIX did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: SBI doubled crypto business profits in past fiscal year.

SDX chairman called SBI a natural partner for the joint venture given their expertise in the institutional digital asset market and dominance in Asia. 

Singapore has grown to become a global crypto hub over the past few years. Major crypto exchanges like Binance, FTX, Coinbase, Huobi, and several others have found a home in the country amid regulatory uncertainty around the globe.