Event brief: 'Global markets and the coming revolution in cross-border settlement'

In the Digital Pound Foundation’s recent webinar on Central Bank Digital Currency settlement across borders, Gilbert Verdian explained the need for interoperability and standardisation.

14 March 2022

We recently participated in a 24 February 2022 webinar with the Digital Pound Foundation, ‘Global markets and the coming revolution in cross-border settlement’. The session explored how Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) could be successfully established and optimised, how transactions and FX could work and the considerations for cybersecurity, privacy and regulations.  

The success of Project Jura

Accenture representatives: John Velissarios, Digital Assets, Custody & CBDC Lead and Global MD of Blockchain and Multiparty Systems, and Dr Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, Senior Advisor, Blockchain and Multiparty Systems, kicked off the discussion with Project Jura. This blockchain initiative, between the Bank for International Settlements, Banque de France and Swiss National Bank, also supported private sector participants. Project Jura conducted transactions in a sandbox environment and effectively demonstrated cross-border settlement of tokenised assets and FX trades on a single distributed ledger technology (DLT) operated by a third party.

Interoperability between DLTs and beyond

Whilst Project Jura was successful; there needs to be even broader interoperability. Our CEO and Founder, Gilbert Verdian, weighed in, “at the start, we need to consider how to integrate our existing financial systems with DLT and blockchain-type payment systems to support the evolution of money."  

He went on to add:

“There is an enormous opportunity to transform the financial sector, create standards and work together. The right way is to do this is to bring together our collective expertise in governance, legal, cybersecurity and technology to develop useable standards that work for the technology we are building.”

Along with Project Jura, Gilbert shared Quant’s experience with LACChain, a DLT-ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean to maximise financial and social inclusion.

He said: “we’ve created an interbank network for cross-border payments in Latin America. In this, commercial banks hold their own DLT and own the relationship with their customers to manage AML (Anti-Money Laundering), KYC (Know Your Customer), fraud and risk. It’s an agnostic approach that can connect to a wholesale CBDC. The entire system allows for the use of different technology and is interoperable to function cross-border on day one.”

CBDC design with a greater aim

Ultimately, CBDCs need to be designed to benefit individuals and societies at large. They can revolutionise the FX markets, reduce the dependence on intermediary actors, open up competition and create more efficient, effective market structures.  

The Digital Pound Foundation’s webinar was led by its policy lead, Jannah Patchay. Participants included: James Wallis, Vice President, Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs, Ripple; Gilbert Verdian, CEO, Quant; Mathias Studach, Head Finance, Risk & Org. Development, SDX and Dave Sissens, CEO, RTGS.global.

A full recording of the session can be viewed here.

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