Swiss central bank announces plans for wholesale CBDC pilot with ‘real money’: Report

The head of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has reportedly announced that the bank will soon launch a wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) pilot project. SNB chair Thomas Jordan was quoted at the Point Zero Forum in Zurich on June 26 as saying the wCBDC will be issued on the Swiss SIX digital exchange and run for a limited time.

Thomas Jordan also said that SNB governing board member Thomas Moser told Cointelegraph last year that CBDCs could work well with decentralized finance. In addition, SNB had previously completed a proof of concept for wCBDC as part of a project called Helvetia, which integrated a wCBDC into the back-office systems of five banks.

Meanwhile, SNB chief economist Carlos Lenz said a year prior that blockchain was not a suitable platform for CBDC, and the country had no intention of issuing one.

Thomas Jordan also mentioned that at the moment, “we are a little bit prudent” about retail CBDC, although he did not rule out its introduction. SNB governing board member Andréa Maechler, who spoke at a different event at the Point Zero Forum this year, said that the central bank does not foresee the replacement of cash in the country, noting that last year, SNB officials “believe the risks outweigh the benefits” in regard to such a move.

Robert Wilson
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