Swiss National Bank: Pilot project with digital currency for banks

Switzerland's Central Bank Launches Groundbreaking CBDC Pilot Program (Foto SNB/SIX)


On 1 December 2023, the Swiss National Bank – together with six commercial banks – will start a pilot project with central bank digital currency for financial institutions on the regulated platform of SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).


With this pilot, called Helvetia Phase III, the SNB will for the first time issue real wholesale CBDC in Swiss francs on a financial market infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). The SNB is thus moving its work from test environments into production and is making wholesale CBDC available for the settlement of real bond transactions. The banks involved will carry out the transactions on the DLT platform as intermediaries for issuers and investors. The tokenised bonds will be settled against wholesale CBDC on a delivery-versus-payment basis.

The pilot with real Swiss franc wholesale CBDC is scheduled to run from December 2023 to June 2024. The participating banks are Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, Basler Kantonalbank, Commerzbank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, UBS and Zürcher Kantonalbank. In addition to the SDX platform, the pilot project will use the SIC infrastructure for the tokenisation of central bank money and that of SIX SIS for integration with the traditional bond settlement infrastructure.

“We are proud of our internationally pioneering role in this area as we carry out this innovative project together with SIX and the participating banks,” says Thomas J. Jordan, Chairman of the Swiss National Bank’s Governing Board.

More information: SNB launches pilot project with central bank digital currency for financial institutions