The Swiss National Bank has declared Project Jura, cross-border trade using digital francs and euros between Switzerland and French counterparties, success on the Swiss SDX Digital Exchange. It explored settling foreign exchange (FX) transactions in euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs. The project also looked into issuing, transferring and redeeming a tokenized euro-denominated French commercial paper between French and Swiss financial central institutions.
Benoit Coeure, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, said a well-designed wholesale CBDC can play a critical role as a safe and neutral settlement asset for international financial transactions. It also demonstrates how central banks and the private sector can work together across borders to foster innovation, he said.
Andrea M.Maechler, Member of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank, said that Switzerland requires efficient and robust cross-border payment and settlement arrangements. She highlighted that Project Jura explores how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be successfully leveraged to map out how future-proof cross-border settlement between financial institutions could look like.
Sylvie Goulard, Deputy Governor of the Bank of France, said the project is now complete with great success. Jura demonstrates how wholesale CBDCs can optimize cross-currency and cross-border settlements, which are a key facet of international transactions, she pointed out.
Project Jura worked on the direct transfer of euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs between French and Swiss commercial banks on a single DLT platform. It was operated by a third party. An official statement stated that the tokenized assets and foreign exchange transactions were settled safely and efficiently. It optimized the payment-versus-payment and delivery-versus-payment mechanisms.
It was noted that issuing wholesale CBDCs on third-party platform and giving regulated non-resident financial institutions direct access to central bank money, raises intricate policy issues. As such, Project Jura explored a new approach. It included sub-networks and dual-notary signing. This may give central banks ease to issue whole CBDCs on third-party platforms and to provide regulated non-resident financial institutions with access to wholesale CBDCs.