The Bank of Spain is taking a step in exploring the potential of a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) by partnering with Adhara, a treasury and transactions payment platform, and a consortium formed by two private banks, Cecabank and Abanca. This initiative marks a distinct phase in the bank’s exploration of digital currency technology, separate from the European Union’s ongoing digital euro project.
Adhara will focus on simulating interbank payments using tokenized wholesale CBDCs, including those issued by different central banks. This involves creating multiple CBDC infrastructures, providing digital wallets to entities, and developing an interbank digital payment platform.
The trials involving the Abanca-Cecabank consortium will test the integration of a wholesale CBDC with financial asset settlements. This includes experimenting with the issuance, tokenization, and registration of simulated bonds on a blockchain platform managed by Cecabank. The goal is to provide practical insights into the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a wholesale CBDC compared to traditional financial processes and infrastructures.
A Year-Long Selection Process
The Bank of Spain initiated calls for proposals over a year ago, seeking contributors for this innovative project. These tests are part of a broader effort to understand and potentially implement digital currencies in the banking sector, distinct from the digital euro pilot project which is currently in a preparation phase.
The Bank of Spain’s initiative to test wholesale CBDCs with these partners is a significant step in the broader exploration of digital currencies by central banks worldwide. By working with both a Web3 company and a consortium of national banks, the Bank of Spain is positioning itself at the forefront of technological advancements in the financial sector. The outcomes of these trials could have far-reaching implications for the future of banking and digital currencies, both within Spain and in the global financial landscape.