BIS to Test Cross-Border CBDCs Using DeFi Protocols with Three Central Banks

Project Mariana studies automated market makers (AMM) for the cross-border exchange of theoretical Swiss franc, euro and Singapore dollar wholesale CBDCs

Cross-Border CBDCs

BIS to Test Cross-Border CBDCs Using DeFi Protocols. Source:

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is working with the Bank of France, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Swiss National Bank to explore cross-border CBDC trading and settlement using DeFi protocols. Project Mariana will probe the use of AMMs to automate foreign exchange markets and settlement, potentially improving cross-border payments. 

Automated market makers (AMMs) are smart contracts that use liquidity pools to transfer digital assets automatically. It is opposed to the traditional process of matching buyers with sellers, which requires consent for each operation. 

AMM protocols that blend pooled liquidity with innovative algorithms to determine the prices between two or more tokenised assets may potentially facilitate the cross-border exchange of CBDCs. The Mariana project aims to deliver a proof-of-concept by mid-2023. 

The three main objectives of the joint research are: 

  • scrutinise the design and application of AMMs for wCBDCs; 
  • investigate the efficiency and security of a supra-regional network for cross-border settlement; 
  • research wCBDC governance models within that network.


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Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.