Swiss National Bank to study issuing state cryptocurrencies as part of BIS initiative

Swiss National Bank to study issuing state cryptocurrencies as part of BIS initiative

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) have signed a cooperation agreement as part of the Innovation Hub Center BIS initiative.

According to a press release, the first three innovation centers will be created in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore. Initially, the Center will focus on two research projects – the integration of the Central Bank’s digital currencies into the technological infrastructure of a distributed registry and the analysis of the growing requirements for tracking rapidly developing electronic markets by central banks.

The first project will be implemented as part of a collaboration between SNB and the largest Swiss financial services provider SIX Group in the form of a proof of concept. The press release states that central bank cryptocurrencies issued on the basis of the blockchain will be “aimed at facilitating settlements on tokenized assets between financial institutions”.

The fundamental goals of the center will be to develop an understanding of the most important trends in technology affecting central banks, and to serve as the focal point for a network of experts from the Central Bank in the field of innovation.

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SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said the Central Bank is closely following the trend in digitizing the financial sector and technological innovation. He added that the new cooperation will enable the banks involved to expand their expertise in financial markets and their infrastructure.

In early September, Jordan announced that stable cryptocurrencies could violate Swiss monetary policy in certain circumstances. In addition, in August, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustin Carstens, expressed the view that some central banks may issue their own cryptocurrencies earlier than anticipated.


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