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BIS Plans Instant Cross-Border Payments Using Wholesale CBDC Settlement

June 4, 2024

In a move to improve traditional cross-border payments, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has announced the launch of Project Rialto. This project aims to enhance instant cross-border payments by integrating a modular foreign exchange (FX) component with settlement in wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The initiative, a collaboration between the BIS Innovation Hub Eurosystem and Singapore Centres along with several central banks, seeks to address the current challenges of costly, slow, and complex FX services. By exploring decentralized solutions, CBDC, and interlinked payment infrastructures, Project Rialto aims to mitigate liquidity, credit, and settlement risks. The project symbolically draws its name from Rialto in Venice, a bridge and marketplace, representing the cross-border payment infrastructure and the automatic FX settlement using wholesale CBDCs respectively.