March 24, 2023

SWIFT Banking Network Conducts New Global Phase of CBDC Testing

Company says consolidating all countries’ CBDCs with a seamless cross-border payment system controlled by central banks has “clear potential and value.”

The interbank messaging company SWIFT is moving forward on a project to build a standardized global interlinking Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) system.

The project for CBDC cross-border payments involved 18 central and commercial banks from around the world, including the Banque de France, Royal Bank of Canada, Société Générale, HSBC, Deutsche Bundesbank, NatWest, UBS, France’s BNP Paribas, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, the UL’s Standard Chartered (STAN), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

“While interest in CBDCs is growing, so is the risk of fragmentation as a widening range of technologies and standards is being experimented with,” Lewis Sun, global head of domestic and emerging payments at HSBC, said in a statement, adding that the SWIFT project may lead to “faster, cheaper and more secure cross-border payments.”

Naturally, the banks are eager to see SWIFT’s CBDC project through.

“The central and commercial banks involved in the project saw ‘clear potential and value’ in SWIFT’s CBDC project,” CNBC reported last week.

SWIFT said the project’s tests had so far shown that CBDCs and traditional currencies can “co-exist” in the same “financial ecosystem.”

“Our experiments have shown the critical role that SWIFT can play in a financial ecosystem in which digital and traditional currencies co-exist,” said Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT. 

“Our solution has been successfully tested across almost 5,000 transactions between two different blockchain networks and a traditional fiat currency, and we’re delighted to have the support of our community in developing it further.”

“Many participants have made clear their desire for continued collaboration on interoperability, and this is particularly pleasing,” he added.

Over 100 countries are currently working on some form of CBDCs, with some having already launched the digital currencies, while others continue with testing phases.

The fact SWIFT is working on a system to consolidate even more financial control to central banks is not encouraging.

Just look what happened to Russia — shortly after invading Ukraine, it was promptly expelled from the SWIFT payment network.

In effect, the global SWIFT system was weaponized against Russian banks for deviating from the agenda of a global banking consortium.

What’s to stop that from happening to other countries if they step out of line?

A centralized SWIFT-backed CBDC system would only further entrench the New World Order paradigm into countries who adopt it.

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