deen

17 January 2022

Market Opening: Switzerland strides towards CBDC space

Patrick Heusser

Patrick Heusser

CEO at Crypto Finance (Brokerage) AG

About the author

 

Switzerland is making progress in the CBDC space.

The Swiss National Bank even made it into the news on a fairly crypto-focussed news portal: Blockworks 

First off, I would like provide some background information about the CBDC project – just to make sure that the scope and purpose is clear to everyone.

For all of you who follow my market commentaries, you might recall that I have written a few reports on the Chinese CBDC project. That project operates according to a three-circle framework. The first circle is on a central bank level. The second one is between the central bank and the commercial banks (wholesale CBDC). And the last circle is between commercial banks and their customers (the citizens of China).

The Swiss National Bank project is about wCBDC (wholesale CBDC). It is comparable to the second circle of the Chinese project. What makes it different (and more progressive) than the Chinese project is the inclusion of both domestic Swiss banks and foreign banks (e.g. Goldman Sachs and Citibank).

Monetary policies and their frameworks – in combination with the underlying infrastructure – is not something the normal citizen is very knowledgeable about. This applies to both the current system in the traditional markets and even less for the upcoming DLT framework and infrastructure. However, many people do seem to have some deeper knowledge on how DLT (blockchain) technology works, which means that they will not struggle as much in understanding the content that the Swiss National Bank posted a few days ago.

Source: Project Helvetia Phase II Settling tokenised assets in wholesale CBDC

I would also like to reiterate one important point: CBDCs and their use cases have nothing to do with permissionless, decentralised crypto assets. However, they do share some of the same infrastructure components, and certain concepts also show similarities.

I am of the firm belief that when CBDCs become mainstream, and the financial market infrastructure has adapted to them, the traditional financial market asset universe will start moving closer to the crypto asset universe.

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