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  • SWIFT’s Swift Go platform has gained significant traction, with over 600 banks joining, with 400 already operational.
  • SWIFT has entered a new phase in its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) interoperability experiment, with three central banks, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the National Bank of Kazakhstan, beta testing its CBDC interlinking solution.

SWIFT, the global payments network offering cross-border transactions is making bold moves in the world of blockchain-based transactions.

Cross-border payments have gained significant attention in the global transaction landscape, with the ecosystem projected to reach a valuation of approximately $250 trillion by 2027. Tanja Haase, Head of Swift Go, recently discussed the expectations of consumers and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) when conducting cross-border money transfers.

In a survey encompassing insights from 4,000 consumers and SMEs across eight key markets, it was observed that banks continue to be the preferred choice for many as the “first point of call.” This preference is attributed to the high level of trust customers have in their processes and security. However, some participants acknowledged using alternative methods.

The survey revealed that the primary drivers for those considering alternative options are speed, user-friendliness, and transparency. Haase also mentioned that Swift has been actively exploring ways to support the community. Swift Go initially had approximately 400 banks onboarded for the service last year. Within a year, more than 600 banks have joined, with 400 of them already operating on the platform.

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SWIFT and CBDCs

Swift has announced the commencement of a new phase in its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) interoperability experiment, with three central banks now entering the beta testing phase of this groundbreaking solution.

With the aim of addressing the global interest in CBDCs, Swift is dedicated to improving their interoperability. Leading the way in beta testing Swift’s innovative CBDC interlinking solution are three central banks, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the National Bank of Kazakhstan.

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This milestone comes after the initial sandbox testing phase, which featured an impressive roster of more than 18 participants. Over a span of 12 weeks, the sandbox facilitated over 5,000 transactions, involving prominent institutions like the Royal Bank of Canada, Société Générale, Banque de France, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Deutsche Bundesbank, and NatWest, among others. The program is set to expand to encompass over 30 leading institutions.

Ripple and Stellar Join the CBDC Bandwagon

In a collaborative effort to drive the transformation of the global payment system, Swift has partnered with Ripple and Stellar. Ripple’s XRP is renowned for its ability to expedite international transactions, outperforming traditional financial systems in terms of speed. Stellar is also dedicated to facilitating rapid and cost-effective transactions, with a particular emphasis on its distinctive Interoperability feature that sets it apart from other blockchains.

What distinguishes the Stellar network from other blockchains is its remarkable interoperability. Through regulated financial institutions known as anchors, the Stellar network can seamlessly collaborate with both other blockchains and conventional financial infrastructure. These anchors also have the capacity to issue assets and facilitate entry and exit points to and from the Stellar network.

In a significant development, Ripple has recently forged a strategic partnership with the global e-commerce giant Amazon. This collaboration entails the integration of XRP into Amazon’s payment operations, marking a notable advancement in the cryptocurrency’s adoption.

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