Daily Dash: BIS, Central Banks Launch Multi-Currency CBDC Platform

June 10, 2024
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A minimum viable product (MVP) version of a multi-currency CBDC platform is now live and is inviting participants, while the Netherlands is seeking to update its AML/CTF guidelines.

BIS, Central Banks Launch Multi-Currency CBDC Platform: Project mBridge

The central banks of Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Thailand have launched a minimum viable product (MVP) version of Project mBridge, a multi-currency central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform for wholesale cross-border payments and settlement.

Developed under the leadership of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub in Hong Kong, Project mBridge is the first multi-CBDC platform to reach the MVP phase, and is now ready for use by early adopters. 

Separately, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) announced that it has joined Project mBridge as a participant. There are also more than 26 entities signed up as “observing members”, according to the BIS.

A number of UAE licensed financial institutions (LFIs) have been onboarded onto mBridge, with collaborative efforts underway to accelerate its adoption.

Onboarded LFIs are now ready to initiate and process cross-border CBDC payments with their counterparts of the participating jurisdictions.

The UAE’s participation in Project mBridge hit a milestone in January 2024, when the UAE central bank made its first cross-border Digital Dirham payment to China worth AED50m ($13.6m).

Dutch Regulator Updates Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines

The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has released updated guidelines on the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft) and the Sanctions Act (Sw). 

The reason for the update is due to research findings, increased attention on sanctions regulations and a further explanation of the risk-based approach.

The updates include detailed measures for identifying and verifying UBOs, enhanced guidance on sanctions regulations, and clarifications on risk-based approaches to AML, covering risk assessments, policy integration and customer due diligence.

The AFM also announced that it will begin supervising crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) under the Wwft and Sw at the end of 2024. This means that it will publish a supplement to the Wwft/Sw guidelines specifically for CASPs in the near future.

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