SWIFT announced further progress on its experimental solution for interlinking central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), reporting that 18 central and commercial banks found “clear potential and value” in the API-based CBDC connector after a comprehensive review. SWIFT published the findings of the 12-week period of collaborative sandbox testing, in which almost 5,000 transactions were simulated between two different blockchain networks and with existing fiat-based payment systems. Sandbox participants included the Banque de France, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, NatWest, Royal Bank of Canada, SMBC, Société Générale, Standard Chartered and UBS. Over the coming months SWIFT will develop a beta version of the solution for payments that can be tested further by central banks. A second phase of sandbox testing will also be held, in which the SWIFT community can collaborate further with a focus on new use cases. [Read more at SWIFT]
The results of the 2023 Swiss Payment Monitor show that, although only 29% of daily payments are made in cash (17% in terms of value), cash still plays an important role in the payment behavior of the Swiss population, for small transactions (up to 20 francs).Cash usage differs by demographic characteristics, with 30–44-year-olds being the least likely to use cash, and over 60s and those on low incomes and with low levels of education being the most likely. Average amount of cash in wallets increased to CHF107 (vs CHF82 in 2022) and that at home to CHF831 (CHF524), possibly because of the energy crisis feared for the winter of 2022/23. [Read more at Cash Essentials]
Upcoming conferences, webinars and speaking engagements:
- I’ll be on a “public finance and the digital future” panel at the March 23-25 Willamette College of Law “Our Money, Our Future” (Hybrid) Conference in Salem, Oregon on March 24. [Register here]
- I’ll be moderating the “CBDCs, Stablecoins, Commercial Bank Money Tokens – What is the Future of Money?” panel discussion at the Digital Euro Association Digital Euro Conference on March 31 in Frankfurt. [Register here]
- I’ll be moderating a panel on “what happens when the lights go out…different schemes for offline functionality” at the in-person Digital Currency Conference (DCC) in Mexico City on May 18. [Register here]
Kiffmeister’s global central bank digital currency monthly monitor
Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at email@example.com.
The Sovereign Official Digital Association (SODA) is a technology-agnostic firm offering advisory services at the intersection of central banking, digital finance and the web3 industry, aiming to make public digital money a reality. SODA believes institutions in the existing financial ecosystem should have access to the tools and resources they need to move from discussion to action. SODA offers ‘real life’ use cases to help test digital money and drive adoption as central banks and other public institutions explore the future of a more financially inclusive world powered by interoperable blockchain-based networks. SODA would love you to join us on this journey – please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Satoshi Capital Advisors is a New York-based, global advisory firm that works with central banks, governments, and the private sector to architect, implement, and operate varying initiatives. Satoshi Capital Advisors’ central bank work revolves around CBDC architecture and implementation, providing advisory services from research phase through to growth phase. Utilizing a product-market fit and technology agnostic approach to CBDC architecture and implementation enables Satoshi Capital Advisors to build tailored solutions, bespoke to local financial system nuances. Satoshi Capital Advisors welcomes requests from central bank officials for virtual and in-person CBDC workshops. [Click here for more information]
WhisperCash offers the first fully offline digital currency platform that has the same properties as physical cash. It can perform secure consecutive offline payments without compromising on security, privacy or accessibility. WhisperCash allows direct person to person offline payments without any server infrastructure or internet connectivity. It comes in various form factors including the self-contained credit card-sized “Pro” that sports an eInk screen and capacitive keyboard, and lasts for two weeks between recharges assuming a few transactions per day. [Click here for more information]