Swiss National Bank and SDX Extend Project Helvetia CBDC Project for Two More Years

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The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) have announced that they will extend their exploration of wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for an additional two years. This extension is a part of the ongoing Project Helvetia, which is now entering its third phase. The project aims to further integrate CBDCs with tokenized securities and other digital assets, highlighting the potential for blockchain technology to transform financial transactions.

Project Helvetia Phase 3 marks a significant milestone in the SNB’s and SDX’s commitment to exploring digital financial innovations. The initiative seeks to use a wholesale CBDC (wCBDC) as a settlement instrument for digital assets traded on the SDX platform. By extending this project, the SNB and SDX aim to thoroughly assess the benefits, operational challenges, and regulatory implications of using CBDCs in real-world financial transactions.

The main objectives of Project Helvetia Phase 3 include integrating wCBDCs with tokenized securities to enhance the efficiency and security of financial transactions. This phase moves from theoretical exploration to practical application, involving live testing of wCBDCs in a controlled environment. This will provide valuable insights into the operational aspects of using digital currencies within the financial system. Addressing regulatory compliance and ensuring transaction security are critical components of this phase, with the project working closely with regulatory bodies to meet stringent standards.

The extended pilot will involve multiple major commercial banks and financial institutions. These participants will facilitate transactions, act as intermediaries for issuers and investors, and settle tokenized bonds against wCBDCs on a delivery-versus-payment basis. The collaboration will leverage the SIC infrastructure for tokenizing central bank money and integrate with traditional bond settlement systems through the SIX SIS infrastructure.

The extension of Project Helvetia underscores the SNB’s and SDX’s commitment to staying at the forefront of financial innovation. As the project progresses, it is expected to provide valuable insights that could shape the future of digital currencies and blockchain technology in the financial sector.

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