Project Helvetia: a multi-phase investigation on the settlement of tokenised assets in central bank money

Project Helvetia started a multi-phase investigation by the BIS Innovation Hub, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the financial infrastructure operator SIX. The project explored how central banks could offer settlement in central bank money in a future with more tokenised financial assets based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), focusing on operational, legal and policy questions.

  • Phase I built on the test environments of the Swiss real-time gross settlement system – SIX Interbank Clearing (SIC) system –  and SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), a platform for the trading and settlement of tokenised assets. 
  • Phase II expanded on the work carried out in Phase I by (i) adding commercial banks to the experiment; (ii) integrating wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) into the core banking systems of the central bank and commercial banks; and (iii) running transactions from end to end.

The SNB has continued Project Helvetia with a Phase III, where real CHF wholesale CBDC is piloted. Phase III – without the involvement of the BIS Innovation Hub – started on 1 December 2023 and runs until 30 June 2024. Further Information can be found in the SNB website.