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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has successfully concluded Project Mariana in collaboration with the central banks of France, Singapore, and Switzerland. This project delved into the potential of cross-border trading and settlement of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) among financial institutions, leveraging decentralized finance (defi) methodologies.

Coordinated efforts from the financial innovation hub centers of Switzerland, Singapore, and the Eurosystem were central to this initiative. Furthermore, the partnership was strengthened with contributions from Banque de France, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Each participating bank examined a CBDC tied to its respective national currency: digital euro, Singapore dollar, and Swiss franc.

Three principal components underpinned the project’s testing:

  • The use of a standardized technical token anchored on a public blockchain, ensuring efficient exchange and compatibility across varied currencies.

  • Infrastructure that allowed effortless transfer of wrapped CBDCs (wCBDCs) across different networks.

  • An Automated Market Maker (AMM), a decentralized exchange variant, enabled automated trading and spot FX transaction settlements.

Insights from Project Mariana are anticipated to guide subsequent financial market adaptations, especially in fostering cross-border transactions and settlements between financial entities.

The project hinged on a standardized token present on a public blockchain. This design ensured that financial institutions could engage with CBDCs with enhanced interoperability and exchange fluidity.

While emphasizing the nascent stage of decentralized finance (defi) technology, the BIS noted the need for continuous exploration and studies. Emmanuelle Assouan, the director general for Financial Stability and Operations at Banque de France, remarked, “the three financial institutions have developed a practical solution for CBDC trading in an interoperable global network within regional platforms.”