France Tests CBDC Cross-Border Payments with Singapore and Switzerland

  • September 29, 2023

As part of Project Marina, the three banks have collaborated with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), for conducting CBDC cross-border settlements.

The central banks of France, Switzerland, and Singapore collaborated with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to conduct a joint test for cross-border payments with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). On Thursday, September 28, the central bank – Banque de France – issued a report.

Payments in CBDCs

Project Mariana, a collaborative effort involving the Banque de France, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Swiss National Bank, in coordination with the BIS (Bank for International Settlements), has conducted experiments. These experiments revolved around testing the cross-border trading and settlement of hypothetical CBDCs denominated in euros, Singapore dollars, and Swiss francs. Besides, these simulations involved financial institutions and leveraged decentralized finance (DeFi) technology concepts on a public blockchain.

The innovative concept relies on a standardized token format on a public blockchain, and bridge mechanisms to facilitate seamless CBDC transfers across different networks. It also has a specific type of decentralized exchange for the automated execution of spot foreign exchange transactions

As stated in the release, the participants viewed the experiment as a success, but they acknowledged the need for additional research and experimentation. However, the press release also makes a reservation regarding the experimental nature of Project Mariana. It states:

“Project Mariana is purely experimental and does not indicate that any of the partner central banks intend to issue CBDC or endorse DeFi or a particular technological solution.”

Legal Framework for CBDCs

The day prior to the public unveiling of Project Mariana, Agustín Carstens, the General Manager of the BIS, emphasized the importance of clarifying national legal frameworks in countries where central banks lack the authority to issue CBDCs.

The BIS continues to be a leading advocate for cross-border CBDCs, overseeing several pilot tests worldwide. In September, the central banks of Hong Kong and Israel disclosed the outcomes of Project Sela, while Eddie Yue, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, announced the expansion of Project mBridge, which already includes the central banks of China, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this month, SWIFT, the widely-used bank messaging platform that links more than 11,500 financial institutions globally, has disclosed that three banks are now part of the beta phase for its CBDC interoperability initiative.


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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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