Interim report on Central Banks’ project on digital currencies

Tokenisation may be on the horizon, with the potential to change the financial system. (Foto: BIS)


Project Mariana is a joint proof of concept between the BIS Innovation Hub, Bank of France, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Swiss National Bank. It explores the feasibility of an international FX interbank market using wCBDCs (wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency) on a blockchain-based network. This summer, the project partners published an interim report.


Today, the largest financial market in the world is the foreign exchange (FX) market, trading approximately USD 7.5 trillion a day. How might we trade and settle FX in a future tokenised world? In the context of the G20’s goal to improve cross-border payments, several projects have shown the feasibility of cross-border and FX transactions using wCBDC arrangements and distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms.


Mariana expands on previous experiments

Project Mariana expands on these wCBDC experiments with the aim of improving the effectiveness, safety and transparency of FX trading and settlement. The project contributes to two key dimensions: first, it combines FX trading and settlement in cross-border transactions into a single instantaneous step using wCBDCs, as one possible mechanism for eliminating credit and settlement risk. Second, given the diversity of technological solutions used in emerging domestic CBDC arrangements, it tests cross-border interoperability through wCBDC mobility beyond domestic boundaries and with a uniform technical wCBDC standard. Interoperability may allow for flexibility in a future tokenised financial system in which central banks’ autonomy is retained in the domestic context, while avoiding walled gardens. The project thereby offers one possible approach to future-proofing the various domestic and regional wCBDC arrangements now under development.


Project Mariana is purely experimental and does not indicate that any of the involved central banks intend to issue CBDC or endorse DeFi (Decentralised Finance) or a particular technological solution. The interim report describes the Mariana experimental setup in detail.


More information: Interim report - Project Mariana: cross-border exchange of wholesale CBDCs using automated market-makers (