The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has outlined its 2024 work programme, introducing six new projects focusing on digital financial technologies. These projects aim to address various challenges in the financial sector, including security and environmental sustainability.
The upcoming projects in the 2024 agenda include:
- Project Leap (Eurosystem Centre) – Moving into its second phase, this project is exploring ways to safeguard payment systems against potential threats from quantum computing.
- Project Symbiosis (Hong Kong Centre) – This project is utilising AI and big data to improve transparency in supply chain disclosures, with a focus on tracking Scope 3 emissions.
- Project Aurum (Hong Kong Centre) – Concentrating on the privacy aspects of retail CBDC transactions, this project seeks to enhance the design of CBDC systems with input from academia and privacy regulators.
- Project NGFS Data Directory 2.0 (Singapore Centre) – Aims to update the data directory platform of the Network for Greening the Financial System, enhancing its functionality and user-friendliness.
- Project Promissa – This initiative is exploring the tokenization of promissory notes through distributed ledger technology, in collaboration with the Swiss National Bank and the World Bank Group.
- Project Hertha (London Centre) – Focuses on using network analytics to detect financial crime patterns in payment systems.
Cecilia Skingsley, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, commented on the importance of adapting to new technologies in the financial industry and the challenges that lie ahead in integrating these technologies effectively and securely:
“As the financial industry adopts new technologies, we need to understand how they affect central banks’ core work. Central banks are actively examining the potential for novel technologies to help deliver on their mandates. After completing 12 projects in 2023, we are looking forward to another busy year ahead, in collaboration with central banks, international organisations and other partners. Tokenisation is an important area where we have already launched one project and are planning more initiatives. Safety is another crucial area. We need to find ways to improve the efficiency of services like payments, without ever compromising on security, following the principle set by the G20 countries.”
The BIS Innovation Hub, established over four years ago, has experienced growth in its number of projects and staff. Skingsley acknowledges the need to keep pace with rapid technological changes and the importance of ensuring that these advancements are aligned with meaningful economic activities.
The BIS is also continuing its work on several ongoing projects, including FuSSE, Gaia, Mandala, and others, which aim to explore various aspects of financial technology.
The 2024 work programme represents the BIS’s ongoing efforts to understand and integrate emerging technologies in finance, while emphasising the need for security and efficiency in a digitally evolving financial landscape.