Digital Money: Global markets and the coming revolution in cross-border settlement

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On 24 February, the Digital Pound Foundation hosted a webinar entitled ‘Global markets and the coming revolution in cross-border settlement’. The session discussed how new forms of digital money, including central bank digital currency, are opening up possibilities for wholesale cross-border transaction settlement. 

These new forms of money have the potential to revolutionise the FX markets, reducing the dependence of intermediaries, opening up competition and more efficient, effective market structures. They are also a key dependency for the evolution of digital asset markets, which introduce the ability to transform the way in which capital is allocated and value is transferred in a global marketplace. 

In the webinar, Digital Pound Foundation members and guest speakers from the industry – including participants in Project Jura – spoke about the benefits that new forms of digital money can bring to wholesale cross-border settlements and the innovative use cases that can be delivered, as well as the associated challenges and potential solutions. 

The opening keynote was given by two Accenture representatives: John Velissarios, Digital Assets, Custody & CBDC Lead and Global MD Blockchain and Multiparty Systems, and Dr Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, Senior Advisor, Blockchain and Multiparty Systems. John and Ousmene discussed their involvement in Project Jura, an initiative led by the Bank for International Settlements, Banque de France and Swiss National Bank with support from a range of private sector actors and market participants. The project explored the potential for cross-border settlement of tokenised asset and FX trades on a single DLT-based platform operated by a third party.

This was followed by a panel discussion, led by DPF’s Policy Lead Jannah Patchay, around the roles that public and private sector can play in developing the future ecosystem for cross-border settlement. Participants included: James Wallis, Vice President, Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs, Ripple; Gilbert Verdian, CEO, Quant; Mathias Studach, Head Finance, Risk & Org. Development, SDX and Dave Sissens, CEO, RTGS.global.

As with any new market infrastructure, the webinar participants agreed there will be challenges including interoperability, standards, open access and competition. Ending on a positive note, they also concluded that the creation of Central Bank Digital Currencies is about more than simply providing solutions to existing problems but also about innovating to provide new solutions that may not yet have been conceived.

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