It was announced today that the mBridge cross-border central bank digital currency (CBDC) project has entered the minimum viable product (MVP) phase, the initial production phase. M Bridge is an initiative between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub and the central banks of China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia has become the fifth central bank member, with 26 more observers.

The initiative uses tokenized wholesale CBDCs for each currency, enabling atomic cross-border settlement. As a potential alternative to the Swift payment messaging system, mBrige supports rapid cross-border payments, which are hopefully cheaper.

With the start of the MVP phase, members are trying to incorporate new technologies and use cases, including making it compatible with other platforms. Hence, BIS is inviting participation from private sector firms.

mBridge uses an Ethereum-compatible blockchain network, the mBridge Ledger, developed by China’s Digital Currency Research Institute. With the start of the MVP phase, all participating central banks have a working node on the network. The solution has evolved since its 2022 pilot, at least by developing a governance model and legal framework, including an operational rulebook.

The UAE was the first central bank to announce its live pilot transactions on the mBridge platform in February.

More to follow.

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