'Faster and Cheaper Cross-Border Transfers' — Banking Report Led by BIS Highlights the Benefits of Cryptocurrency
According to a report published by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and a group of central banks, digital currencies can lead to faster settlement and cheaper transfers. Moreover, the banking group leveraged a prototype that shows how money transfers can be done in seconds with very little processing fees.
Inexpensive Transfers & Speed: Bank of International Settlements Report Says Digital Currencies Can Be More Effective
During the second week of September, the head of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub, Benoît Cœuré, explained that central banks need to act quickly in order to develop central bank digital currencies. Cœuré stressed that a digital currency economy already exists and “CBDCs will take years to be rolled out.” Following Cœuré’s statements, BIS, alongside four central banks from the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, China, and Thailand, is embarking on a digital currency experiment.
The banking group produced a prototype and published a report that detailed the group’s findings after testing the “multiple central bank digital currency bridge project (mBridge).” Bénédicte Nolens, the head of the Hong Kong center of BIS Innovation Hub, explained that digital currencies can be more effective for the banking system and would be beneficial to the economy in general.
“Enabling faster and cheaper cross-border wholesale payments, including to jurisdictions that don’t benefit from a vibrant correspondent banking system, would be positive for trade and economic development,” Nolens said in a statement published on Monday. The prototype used by the BIS researchers and collaborating central banks was built on Ethereum’s Hyperledger Besu blockchain.
Banking Group Plans to Continue Distributed Ledger Technology Prototype Research Until a ‘Production-Ready’ Solution Is Created
Testing showed that distributed ledger technology (DLT) cuts the cost of cross-border exchange by half and settlement speeds take mere seconds. The report said that the mBridge team aims to keep working on the DLT going forward. The group plans to address legal issues and jurisdiction hurdles in order to develop a “production-ready digital currency solution.” The mBridge project is being developed in the midst of China getting prepared to launch the digital yuan as the CBDC nears completion.
The mBridge collaboration was previously dubbed “Project Inthanon-LionRock” and it was started by the Bank of Thailand and Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority. The two banks published joint research in 2020 after testing a number of technologies. The report notes that the DLT model research involved ten smaller bank branches from two different locations.
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