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Central banks keep scheming to pre-empt independent cryptocurrencies

Section: Daily Dispatches

Swiss Say They Were Successful With Digital Currency Experiment

By Catherine Bosley
Bloomberg News
Friday, December 3, 2020

The Swiss National Bank and partner organizations said they successfully conducted experiments to push forward understanding of how digital currencies could work within the country's financial system.

In "Project Helvetia" the SNB, the Bank for International Settlements, and the financial infrastructure operator SIX linked the existing interbank payment system to a distributed ledger, according to a joint press release Thursday. They also tested issuing digital currency onto a blockchain-like platform.

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Both approaches had pros and cons, and more research is needed, officials said Thursday. While using a digital currency for payments within the financial system has benefits, it would raise "major policy and governance hurdles," they said.

Central banks around the world are increasingly testing the use of digital currencies, spurred by advances in technology and the shift to electronic payments that has been accelerated by the pandemic. The People's Bank of China has already tested use of a digital yuan with members of the public. ...

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