The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has announced the launch of a wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot project in partnership with six commercial banks in the country. The pilot project is set to run until at least the end of 2022 and will test the feasibility of a wholesale CBDC for large payments between financial institutions. The SNB has said that the move aims to further the development of Switzerland’s financial infrastructure and promote innovation.
The six partner banks involved in the pilot program are UBS, Credit Suisse, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Swiss Post, VP Bank, and Swisscom. The SNB has stated that it will grant these banks access to an experimental platform to test and benchmark the payment clearing and settlement procedures of the wholesale CBDC. The platform will also enable the banks to evaluate various potential use cases and understand the effects of CBDC issuance on financial stability.
The SNB has stated that the project will foster the exchange of knowledge and best practices between the banks involved. It also expects the banks to share their insights with other institutions and the general public, allowing for further progress on the development of CBDCs in Switzerland. The SNB has also revealed that other financial institutions may join the pilot project in the future.