Swiss National Bank (SNB) Successfully Settles Digital Bond Issuances with Wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (wCBDC) on SIX Digital Exchange (SDX)
December 04, 2023 - The Cantons of Basel-City and Zurich have achieved a significant development in digital assets on December 1, 2023 by successfully settling digital bond issuances using real Swiss Franc (CHF) wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) provided by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). This marks the first issuance of real wCBDC in Swiss Francs within a financial market infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
This achievement is part of Project Helvetia Phase III, initiated by the SNB on November 2, 2023, which has introduced a pilot phase for wCBDC transactions involving financial institutions from December 1, 2023, to mid-2024. Basler Kantonalbank and Zürcher Kantonalbank acted as issuer agents for the Cantons of Basel-City and Zurich, respectively.
The digital bonds of Basel-City (ISIN: CH1265890678; DTI: RD9R6Z6FM) and Zurich (ISIN: CH1306117073; DTI: 7JMK1KK1R) were successfully issued on the production platform of SDX and distributed to investors and banks. These digital bonds are eligible for custody in both the Central Securities Depositories of SDX and SIX (SIX SIS). Additionally, they will be listed and tradable on both the SDX exchange and the SIX Swiss Exchange as dual-listed bonds.
David Newns, Head of SIX Digital Exchange, emphasised the significance of this development, stating, "A strong collaboration amongst participants of the Swiss financial center led to the successful start of the Helvetia III pilot. As the most ambitious wCBDC project in the history of capital markets, the settlement of the first securities transactions in wCBDC in a developed economy on regulated blockchain based infrastructure in a production environment represents a major milestone for the entire industry on the road of adoption of a tokenized, DLT based financial markets infrastructure."
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