A multi-jurisdictional central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot has been labeled a “success” by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) after a month-long test phase that facilitated real-value cross-border transactions worth 22 millions of dollars.
The central banks of Hong Kong, Thailand, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in the pilot program along with 20 commercial banks from these regions.
More than $12 million was issued on the test platform, which facilitated 164 cross-border currency and payment transactions between participating companies for a total value of more than $22 million, according to a Tuesday LinkedIn post from the BIS .
Daniel Eidan, advisor and solutions architect at the BIS, said the pilot focused on wholesale CBDC cross-border payments and the role central banks play in the platform, adding that “we will probably consider more commercial aspects in future stages of our work.”
The platform, known as “mBridge” short for Multiple CBDC (mCBDC) Bridge is part of the Inthanon-LionRock Project, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) cross-border CBDC payment project initially launched in September 2019 with the participation of Thai and Hong Kong. central banks
With the first pilot of the platform completed, the project has moved into its third and final stage before a minimal version of the product with only the basic functionality of the platform is commercialized.
A fully functional CBDC cross-payments platform will only be ready after revisions are made taking into account feedback on the minimum version, according to a September 2021 BIS report.
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The BIS added that a detailed progress report on mBridge will be published in October that will discuss the technical design, legal, policy and regulatory considerations along with a future roadmap for mBridge.
A June report by the BIS revealed that around 90% of central banks are investigating CBDC adoption. Currently, 11 CBDCs have been launched, 15 are in a pilot phase and 26 are in development according to the Atlantic Council CBDC Tracker.