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

Project Helvetia was 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.

Project Helvetia is purely experimental and does not indicate that the SNB intends to issue wCBDC.