Swift’s CBDC Connector Enters Beta Testing with Global Central Banks

Swift, the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has announced the beta testing of its innovative Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) interoperability solution. This move comes as part of Swift’s ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between digital and fiat-based currencies.

Global Participation in Swift’s CBDC Initiative

Three central banks, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the National Bank of Kazakhstan, are currently integrating Swift’s CBDC connector solution into their infrastructure for direct testing. This follows Swift’s commitment to develop a beta version after the first sandbox testing phase, where participants acknowledged the solution’s “clear potential and value.”

Furthermore, over 30 financial institutions worldwide are participating in the second phase of sandbox experiments. This phase aims to explore additional use cases such as trigger-based payments for digital trade platforms, foreign exchange models, and liquidity saving mechanisms. Notably, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bundesbank, HKMA, Bank of Thailand, and CLS are among the institutions involved.

Addressing the Fragmentation Concern

According to The Atlantic Council, 130 countries, accounting for 98% of global GDP, are currently exploring CBDCs. Nineteen G20 countries are in advanced stages of CBDC development, with nine already piloting their digital currencies. However, the primary focus on domestic usage could lead to a fragmented landscape across borders.

Swift’s response to this potential fragmentation is a concentrated effort on interoperability for digital currencies and tokenized assets. Their goal is to ensure these digital assets can seamlessly integrate into the financial ecosystem when deployed. Swift’s CBDC initiative, which started over 18 months ago, saw almost 5,000 transactions simulated between two different blockchain networks and existing fiat-based payment systems during its first phase.

Swift’s Vision for the Future of Digital Currencies

Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at Swift, emphasized the company’s focus on interoperability. He stated, “Our focus is on interoperability – ensuring that new digital currencies can seamlessly coexist with each other and with today’s fiat-based currencies and payment systems.” Zschach also highlighted the financial community’s recognition of Swift’s CBDC innovations, which aim to prevent “digital islands” while securely bridging current and future payment systems.

Swift is proactively embracing blockchain and CBDC, recognizing that blockchain has the potential to revolutionize its current system. As reported by Blockchain.News, Swift, in collaboration with major banks and Chainlink, announced successful experiments on August 31, 2023, to transfer tokenized assets across multiple blockchains. The initiative aims to address interoperability challenges hindering tokenized asset market growth. Swift’s infrastructure can act as a central point for financial institutions transferring tokenized assets, ensuring global interoperability. Tom Zschach of Swift emphasized the importance of interoperability and Swift’s role in facilitating global value transfer.

About Swift

Swift is a global member-owned cooperative, providing a platform for secure financial messaging. Connecting over 11,500 banking and securities organizations in more than 200 countries, Swift facilitates global and local financial flows, supporting trade and commerce worldwide. While it doesn’t hold funds or manage accounts for customers, Swift ensures secure and standardized financial message exchanges. Headquartered in Belgium, Swift maintains a strong presence in major financial centers globally, emphasizing its neutral, global cooperative structure.

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Breaking: Swift, Chainlink, and Major Banks Achieve Multi-Blockchain Token Transfer

Swift, the global financial messaging service, announced on August 31, 2023, that it has successfully conducted a series of experiments to facilitate the transfer of tokenized assets across multiple blockchains. Collaborating with major financial institutions and Chainlink ($LINK), a Web3 services platform, Swift aims to solve the interoperability challenges that have been a barrier to the growth of tokenized asset markets.

Major banks involved are: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstream, Euroclear, Lloyds Banking Group, SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

Key Findings

Swift’s experiments revealed that its existing infrastructure could serve as a “single point of entry for financial institutions moving tokenized assets while leveraging existing secure infrastructure.” The cooperative’s efforts are part of a broader strategy to maintain secure, global interoperability in a fragmented financial ecosystem.

Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer at Swift, stated, “Interoperability is at the heart of everything we are doing at Swift to facilitate the seamless flow of value across the world […] Our experiments have demonstrated clearly that existing secure and trusted Swift infrastructure can provide that central point of connectivity, removing a huge hurdle in the development of tokenization and unlocking its potential.”

The Challenge of Interoperability

Tokenization is still in its early stages, but 97% of institutional investors believe it will revolutionize asset management. One of the main challenges is the lack of interoperability between different blockchains where tokenized assets are managed. Financial institutions currently have to build connections to each platform individually, leading to “significant operational challenges and cost.”

Technical Insights

Swift collaborated with financial institutions such as ANZ, BNP Paribas, and BNY Mellon, among others. Chainlink was used to securely connect the Swift network to the Ethereum Sepolia network. The experiments involved transfers of simulated tokenized assets between wallets on the same public Distributed Ledger Technology network, between two wallets on different public blockchains, and between a public and private blockchain network.

Future Prospects

Swift will continue to work with the financial community to identify the most compelling use cases for tokenized asset adoption. The most promising avenue, in the near term, appears to be in the secondary trading of non-listed assets and private markets.


The experiments signify a step forward in solving the interoperability problem that has been a bottleneck for the broader adoption of tokenized assets. By providing a single point of entry, Swift could potentially lower operational challenges and costs for financial institutions.


Swift’s experiments mark a significant milestone in the quest for interoperability in the tokenized asset landscape. While the technology is still in its infancy, Swift’s efforts could pave the way for more efficient and cost-effective management of digital assets, thereby accelerating their adoption in mainstream finance.

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Binance Informs Customers of Upcoming Service Disruption

It has been brought to the attention of the retail customer base of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance that there is a possibility that they may be unable to access their accounts at some point in the not-too-distant future due to the fact that the exchange may go out of business. In the event that anything comparable occurs, there is a possibility that on-ramp and off-ramp bank money transfers will no longer be possible.

Users who wish to buy or sell cryptocurrencies for an amount that is less than one hundred thousand dollars and want to use the SWIFT payment method will be affected by the disruption in service that is currently taking place. After the temporary disruption in operation, customers will only have access to the SWIFT payment method to the extent that their bank accounts are denominated in United States dollars. This is the rationale for the aforementioned limitation.

The day that will mark the beginning of the day is going to be February 1, which is when the implementation period for the new rule is planned to begin. This day will also mark the beginning of the day.

Binance sent an email to its customers, also known as “Binancians,” on the 21st of January to inform them of the news and emphasise that the company is “actively seeking” a new SWIFT (USD) partner in order to prevent service interruptions for upcoming bank payment transfers. Binance customers are also referred to as “Binancians.” People who trade cryptocurrencies on the Binance market are referred to as “Binancians.” In the marketing materials distributed by Binance, customers are referred to not just as “Binancians,” but also as “Binancians.” Residents of Binance are sometimes referred to as “Binancians” when referring to themselves collectively in common vernacular. Binancians are users of the Binance platform who engage in cryptocurrency trading. Binancians are referred to by this platform’s name. The year 2017 marks the beginning of Binance’s operations.


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SWIFT Releasea Blueprint for Global CBDC Operation

As the majority of the world’s Central Banks are now developing or researching the prospects of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications has detailed how these individual CBDCs can co-exist in a global setting.


As detailed by SWIFT‘s head of innovation Nick Kerigan, the trial involved as many as 14 central and commercial banks, including the Deutsche Bundesbank, Banque de France, Standard Chartered, UBS, and HSBC saw all these participating entities connect through a single hub.

“We believe that the number of connections needed is much fewer,” Kerigan said. “Therefore, you are likely to have fewer breaks (in the chain) and you are likely to achieve greater efficiency.”

The trial is billed to be followed by more detailed and specific testing in the coming months, with additional perspectives set to be investigated. 

SWIFT is an electronic system that allows banks all over the world to send information and payments to each other, following its 8-month investigation into the cross-border transaction capabilities of CBDCs concluded that a single viable central connection can suffice in keeping all of the individual e-fiat notes together.

While SWIFT has a very viable proposal to connect CBDCs the way it has connected financial players transacting using fiat and digital money, the body may have an unexpected rebuttal to deal with.

With the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine, SWIFT blocked financial institutions from Russia in compliance with broader financial sanctions from Western watchdogs. This move may prevent some Central Banks from linking their CBDCs to the SWIFT system for any likely instance of censorship in the future.

While this fear remains a viable one, Kerrigan believes the focus for partners will be different. 

“Ultimately, what most central banks are looking to do is to provide us with a CBDC for the people, the businesses and the organisations in their jurisdiction,” he said, “So a solution that’s fast and efficient and that gains access to as many other countries as possible would seem to be an attractive one.”

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SWIFT Works with Chainlink Labs to Develop Cross-chain Interoperability Protocol

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has entered into a partnership with the Chainlink Labs Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) to improve the efficiency of traditional finance (TradFi) on the blockchain.

Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov announced this Wednesday at the SmartCon 2022 conference in New York City on Sept. 29.

SWIFT provides global businesses with one of the most robust financial information infrastructures, an interbank messaging system that allows cross-border payments.

The platform helps encode information so that members who register on its platform can easily understand it. The SWIFT system currently has more than 11,000 users in 200 countries.

To improve the gap between traditional and digital assets of TradFi institutions and allow more traditional financial (TradFi) participants to access a variety of digital and traditional assets on a network that can connect different types of asset classes, this partnership will enhance interoperability to benefit capital markets institutions.

CCIP will enable SWIFT messages to indicate on-chain token transfers, helping interbank networks to communicate across all blockchain environments.

Jonathan Ehrenfeld Solé, strategy director at SWIFT, said that one of the reasons for the success of the partnership with Chainlink on CCIP is the “undeniable interest” in cryptocurrencies from institutional investors.

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network built on the Ethereum network, founded by CEO Sergey Nazarov.

The Chainlink network has made a name for itself by providing reliable tamper-proof data for complex smart contracts on any blockchain.

Built using the Ethereum ERC-20 standard, LINK is the native token of the Chainlink ecosystem. Node operators are paid in LINK for securing the network by staking the token. This incentivizes honesty and integrity among the nodes as penalties are incurred for dishonesty.

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SWIFT Payment System Embraces Blockchain Technology

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is making a targeted move to integrate blockchain technology in a bid to drive efficiency in some of its international financial operations.


As reported by Bloomberg, citing a post from the body, the payment enhancement will be in collaboration with Symbiont Inc, a blockchain startup with innovative fintech solutions.

The SWIFT blockchain pursuit will be used to create “efficiencies in communicating significant corporate events,” like dividend payments and mergers, SWIFT said in its post.

SWIFT presents one of the most robust financial messaging infrastructures for companies worldwide. The platform helps encode a message that can easily be understood by members signed up on its platform. The SWIFT system currently has over 11,000 users spread across 200 countries.

The collaboration with Symbiont, as well as Vanguard, Citigroup, and Northern Trust, will see SWIFT automate corporate action workflow using Symbiont’s technology platform, Assembly. The connections through Assembly will make the system more accessible, functional, and faster with the aid of its embedded smart contracts.

“By bringing Symbiont’s Assembly and smart contracts together with SWIFT’s extensive network, we’re able to automatically harmonize data from multiple sources of a corporate action event,” said Tom Zschach, chief innovation officer at SWIFT. “This can lead to significant efficiencies.”

The deal brings together the compatibility of SWIFT’s technology with Symbiont’s blockchain tech footing to take global transaction communications a step further. 

SWIFT plays a vital role in the movement of funds around the world. Notably, the platform has not been immune to attacks as it has suffered targeted breaches in the past. Blockchain technology may be able to compete with and perhaps solidify the existing security infrastructures of the SWIFT body.

SWIFT came into more prominent limelight when the war in Ukraine broke out. The private organization sanctioned Russia, cutting off Russian banks from accessing the SWIFT system and thus the global financial sector. With its targeted efforts into blockchain technology, the payment processing system is on pace to enhance the platform’s overall performance.

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US, EU Regulators Vow to Remove Russian Banks from SWIFT Network

Perhaps, one might say the attack on Ukraine by Russian forces is not well coordinated as leaders worldwide continue to announce sanctions on key individuals and institutions in Russia. 


One of the latest sanctions seeks to ban by selecting Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a move announced in a joint statement from the leaders of the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

SWIFT is an inter-continent payment network that helps facilitate payment settlements made across the border. It remains a well-regulated and trusted means of moving money used in international trades and for key remittance purposes. Following the Russian aggression on Ukraine, the leaders mentioned above have chosen to cut Russia off these networks to impose economic strain that will force Vladimir Putin’s forces to call off the hostility. 

“We stand with the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people in their heroic efforts to resist Russia’s invasion. Russia’s war represents an assault on fundamental international rules and norms that have prevailed since the Second World War, which we are committed to defending. We will hold Russia to account and collectively ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Putin,” the announcement reads.

Besides severing away from SWIFT, the world leaders promised to “commit to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.”

Finding Solace in Digital Currencies

With the broader global community seemingly against Russia, the question remains whether the country will take solace in embracing digital currencies as a way to boycott these sanctions.

Recalling the Russian Central Bank that has been pulling its weight to ban digital currencies, a move similar to the push by the People’s Bank of China last year. While the agitation to ban Bitcoin came earlier this year, the ongoing economic severance might serve as an avenue for the apex bank to rescind its position very soon. These nascent asset classes may be one of the most accessible options for Russians to transact with the global economy.

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SWIFT Will Explore Tokenized Asset Market in 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Financial messaging giant SWIFT has announced plans to facilitate the burgeoning tokenized asset market.
  • It will conduct experiments in Quarter 1 of 2022 to assess its role as a connector of tokenized assets.
  • Estimates by the World Economic Forum project a tokenized asset market capitalization of $24 trillion by 2027.

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, has announced plans to support the rapidly-growing tokenized asset market. 

New Year’s Plans

SWIFT, a leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has published plans to support tokenized asset markets globally by the first quarter of 2022.

To that end, SWIFT has announced that it will conduct “a series of experiments in Q1 2022 leveraging its trusted role as a central platform” to explore its possible utility within the burgeoning industry.  Specifically, SWIFT says it is exploring ways in which it can “enable and improve interoperability between participants and systems during the transactional lifecycle of tokenised assets.”

SWIFT’s focus will be to help “all entities” interconnect efficiently, supporting the smooth flow of tokenized assets by linking tokenization platforms. It will only deal with regulated assets, and it will not custody cryptocurrency nor act as a direct settler of tokenized assets. 

Working with other major institutions in the industry, SWIFT says it will “explore the issuance, delivery versus payment (DVP), and redemption processes, to support a frictionless and seamless tokenised asset market.” 

The experiments that SWIFT has planned for next quarter will build on its past work. In May, SWIFT published work done with the consulting firm Accenture in which it examined what role it could play in supporting the adoption of CBDCs.

Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT, Thomas Zschach, spoke of the natural fit for SWIFT to support tokenized assets globally: 

“As a neutral cooperative with a reach across 11,000 institutions in more than 200 countries, and oversight by central banks globally, SWIFT is uniquely placed to engage closely in the future of securities.” 

SWIFT’s announcement does little to elucidate the nature of these “experiments;” however, it is at least apparent from today’s announcement that whatever the nature of its role turns out to be, SWIFT intends to be a central player in the emerging tokenized assets industry.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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