SWIFT Leads Groundbreaking CBDC Interoperability Experiment

SWIFT Leads Groundbreaking CBDC Interoperability Experiment

Aleksandra Novaković
2 min read

SWIFT's Experiment Shows Promising Results in Promoting Interoperability between Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

A groundbreaking experiment spearheaded by SWIFT, the global financial network, in partnership with 38 esteemed institutions, has delved into exploring the potential of interoperability between central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). This initiative comes at a time when the global community is moving towards widespread adoption of digital currencies, with 134 countries actively examining CBDCs.

The comprehensive experiment focused on testing CBDC transactions, aiming to address the challenge of interoperability and prevent market fragmentation, thereby ensuring seamless global transaction flow in a future dominated by digital currencies. The outcome has demonstrated the possibility of interoperability between digital currencies and tokenized assets without necessitating a complete overhaul of existing infrastructure. The experiment has also established three fundamental principles for guaranteeing interoperability: native technical interoperability, a single point of access, and co-existence. The SWIFT connector has proven to effectively support diverse emerging interlinking models, thereby reducing risk, enhancing efficiency, and ensuring resilience in cross-currency payments amidst the increasing inclination towards CBDCs.

Key Takeaways

  • SWIFT and 38 institutions conducted a pioneering experiment to explore interoperability between central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
  • 134 countries are actively exploring CBDCs, showcasing a substantial shift in transaction conduct globally.
  • Interoperability is critical in averting fragmentation in a digitized currency ecosystem, ensuring seamless cross-border transactions.
  • The SWIFT-led experiment encompassed comprehensive testing across various use cases, including DvP and FX transactions, involving 38 commercial and central banks.
  • Three fundamental principles were established: native technical interoperability, single point of access, and co-existence, to ensure seamless interoperability.


The SWIFT-led experiment focusing on CBDCs' interoperability, in partnership with 38 global institutions, marks a significant stride towards a digitized currency system. With 134 countries actively exploring CBDCs, this shift has the potential to streamline cross-border transactions. The established principles - native technical interoperability, single point of access, and co-existence - serve to circumvent fragmentation and ensure smooth transaction flow. The entities affected encompass commercial and central banks alongside financial institutions and fintech firms. In the short term, this development could lead to enhanced efficiency and reduced risks in cross-currency payments. Long-term implications might involve a revamp of traditional financial infrastructures, prompting SWIFT and other intermediaries to redefine their roles. Additionally, this advancement could have ramifications for countries with volatile currencies, as CBDCs could present a more secure and efficient alternative.

Did You Know?

  • Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): CBDCs are digital iterations of a nation's fiat currency, issued and regulated by the nation's central bank. They are designed to offer the advantages of digital currencies while upholding the stability and trust synonymous with traditional currencies. CBDCs are categorized into wholesale (for interbank transactions) or retail (for public use), and can be account-based or token-based.
  • Interoperability: In the context of CBDCs, interoperability refers to the capacity for different digital currencies to communicate and exchange information effectively. It is crucial to prevent market fragmentation and guarantee seamless cross-border transactions, ultimately reducing costs and enhancing efficiency in a future dominated by digital currencies.
  • SWIFT Connector and its Key Principles: SWIFT, a global financial network, has developed a connector that supports various emerging interlinking models between CBDCs and tokenized assets. This connector abides by three key principles: native technical interoperability (enabling different systems to communicate and comprehend each other), a single point of access (simplifying connections for all participants), and co-existence (ensuring new technologies can coexist and integrate with existing infrastructure).

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