The Bank of France and National Bank of Switzerland, together with the Innovation Center of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), announced their participation in a project to test the central bank digital currency wholesale trading system (CBDC) called Project Jura.

According to the Bank of France newsletter, Project Jura will also be piloted by members of a private consortium led by Accenture. The list of consortium members includes such large financial institutions as Credit Suisse, UBS, SIX Digital Exchange and R3.

The experiment will use two CBDC options, one pegged to the euro and another pegged to the Swiss franc. The cross-border transfer process will involve the exchange of financial instruments using some option of the CBDC in a delivery versus payment format.

“The Eurosystem is engaging in innovation and adapting its actions to the strong trend towards the digitalisation of payments. The Banque de France is convinced of the potential benefits of wholesale central bank digital currency to provide maximum security and efficiency in financial transactions, and opened last year an experimental programme to make progress in this area. In this perspective, we are delighted to be able to conduct an important experiment - called Jura - on cross-border settlement in partnership with the Swiss National Bank and the BIS Innovation Hub,” said Sylvie Goulard, Deputy Governor of the Banque de France.

The Jura project is a continuation of the extensive work of the French central bank to create the CBDC digital currency, in which several large European financial institutions also participated. In July 2020, the Bank of France selected eight financial institutions to test its CBDC interbank project.

The Bank of France circular clarifies that Project Jura remains a preliminary study and does not indicate plans to issue CBDCs by any central bank involved in the project.