CBDC Project mBridge went successful
CBDC Project mBridge pilot went successful.?It was?among?the first multi-CBDC projects?developed for real-value cross-border payments and currency exchanges.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), in collaboration with the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) Hong Kong Centre, the Bank of Thailand, the People's Bank of China's Digital Currency Institute, and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, recently published a report titled "Project mBridge: Connecting Economies Through CBDC" to present the findings and key takeaways from the Project mBridge pilot.
Central banks developed the mBridge Ledger, a platform based on a new blockchain. It is one of the first multi-CBDC projects. This was built to settle real-time, peer-to-peer, cross-border payments and foreign exchange transactions that are based on CBDC. Additionally, it ensures that policies, laws, rules, and governance requirements particular to a jurisdiction are followed.
The project entered the pilot stage in Q3 2022, moving past the experimentation stage. It was the largest cross-border Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot to date that was conducted over the six-week. In total 20 banks in four countries used the mBridge platform to carry out more than 160 payment and foreign currency transactions that were worth a combined total of more than HK$171 million. The trial featuring actual business transactions focused on international trade was carried out on the platform between participating central banks, chosen commercial banks, and their clients in four jurisdictions.
International payments are hampered by high costs, low speed and transparency, and operational complexity in the global correspondent banking network. The integration of jurisdictional digital currencies into a common technical infrastructure could be done through multiple CBDC (multi-CBDC) arrangements. This could improve the current system that facilitates cross-border inexpensive payments and was universally accessible with secure settlements.
The project team and the HKMA will continue developing and testing mBridge platform while adding more liquidity, compliance, and connection capabilities in order to bring into a Minimum Viable Product, and ultimately into a production-ready product. During the next phases, more use cases and participants will be included, along with additional legal and governance work.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Howard Lee, said, “We sincerely hope that the central banking community will find our pilot insights useful to their own exploration for using CBDC to expedite cross-border payments, and encourage them to join Project mBridge either as an observer or participant to maximize the network effect and realize the potential of the project to the fullest.”
CBW - External Analyst