Project mBridge Enters MVP Phase and Welcomes New Member: Central Bank of Saudi Arabia

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The mBridge cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC) project has advanced to the minimum viable product (MVP) stage, the initial production phase. This initiative, a collaboration between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub and the central banks of China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the UAE, recently welcomed the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia as its fifth member, along with 26 observer institutions.

mBridge employs tokenized wholesale CBDCs for various currencies, facilitating atomic cross-border settlements. Positioned as a potential alternative to the Swift payment messaging system, mBridge aims to enable faster and potentially cheaper international payments.

With the MVP launch, the project aims to integrate new technologies and use cases, including interoperability with other platforms. Consequently, the BIS is seeking participation from private sector firms to contribute to the initiative.

The mBridge system operates on an Ethereum-compatible distributed ledger technology (DLT) network called the mBridge Ledger, developed by China’s Digital Currency Research Institute (DCRI). In this MVP phase, all participating central banks have operational nodes on the network. Since its 2022 pilot, mBridge has advanced significantly, including the development of a governance model, legal framework, and an operational rulebook.

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