Bank for International Settlements conducts research on CBDCs in innovation centers

The BIS innovation centers are to work more intensively on projects for central bank digital currencies in the new year.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has made central bank digital currency (CBDC) research a top priority for its innovation centers for 2021

As indicated in the new annual timetable of the “Bank for International Settlements‘ Innovation Hub” (BISIH), the latter wants to “explore the usability of central bank digital currencies for faster and more cost-effective processing of cross-border payments”. In addition, the BISIH wants to test various “architectures for retail CBDCs”.

The corresponding research projects will be carried out by the BIS innovation centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, in which they will cooperate with the central banks of the respective countries.

The innovation center in Singapore is to develop an international platform for payment processing on which banks and payment service providers can transact various central bank digital currencies.

Meanwhile, the center in Hong Kong is to tokenize “green bonds”, i.e. bring them in the form of crypto tokens. It is also tasked with developing a bridge for international payment transactions via CBDCs. Various models for issuing stablecoins are also to be examined here.

The BISIH offshoot in Switzerland has already carried out a feasibility study in which tokenized assets were connected to existing payment systems and processed via a so-called wholesale CBDC.

Benoît Cœuré, the head of the BISIH, explains in this context:

„This annual roadmap shows that we have set ourselves the goal of further researching how we can harness innovative technologies for the benefit of central banks and create public goods for the optimization of the financial system.“

In November, the Bank for International Settlements again made proposals for standards for the transmission of data from stablecoin issuers to the responsible supervisory authorities.