Project Dunbar: international settlements using multi-CBDCs

Project Dunbar aims to explore different governance and connectivity models for cross-border transactions using multi-CBDCs that could form the basis of a future international settlement network. This joint project by the BIS Innovation Hub and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) plans to work with central banks, financial institutions and technology partners in a broad industry collaboration with the vision of making cross-border payments faster and safer for all.

The project builds on the work by MAS and the financial industry on Project Ubin, and will focus initially on the development of a common platform for multi-CBDC settlement (Model 3 – mCBDC arrangements based on single multi-currency system) that fulfils the needs and requirements of central banks and financial institutions. The project will work with ecosystem partners, including those that have implemented, or are implementing, live technology solutions for digital currencies, to develop platform prototypes that enable the purchase, exchange, transfer and redemption of these different CBDCs in a shared test environment.

The project will also explore new opportunities made possible through smart contracts and multi-CBDCs, such as mechanisms and algorithms that enable more efficient matching and settlement of foreign exchange transactions. This includes learning from developments in public blockchains and decentralised finance (DeFi).

To encourage and facilitate open collaboration, there will be iterative and periodic publications of findings by the project and its partners. We appreciate the efforts from the central banking community, the financial industry and the blockchain ecosystem in contributing to this collaborative work, and we hope to work in partnership to answer these questions and resolve these challenges together.

Related publications by the project and its partners