Project Dunbar will develop prototypes for shared platforms that will enable international
settlements with digital currencies issued by multiple central banks.
- System aims to allow direct transactions between institutions, reducing costs and increasing speed.
Results will inform development of global and regional platforms and support G20 roadmap for
improving cross-border payments.
The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank Negara
Malaysia, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and South African Reserve Bank will join forces to test the
use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for international settlements.
Led by the Innovation Hub’s Singapore Centre, Project Dunbar aims to develop prototype shared
platforms for cross-border transactions using multiple CBDCs. These multi-CBDC platforms will allow
financial institutions to transact directly with each other in the digital currencies issued by
participating central banks, eliminating the need for intermediaries and cutting the time and cost of
The project will work with multiple partners to develop technical prototypes on different distributed
ledger technology platforms. It will also explore different governance and operating designs that would
enable central banks to share CBDC infrastructures, benefitting from the collaboration between public and
private sector experts in different jurisdictions and areas of operation.
Project Dunbar’s work will explore the international dimension of CBDC design and support the efforts
of the G20 roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments. Its results, expected to be published in
early 2022, will inform the development of future platforms for global and regional settlements.
Technical prototypes of the shared platforms, developed in collaboration with different technology
partners, will be demonstrated at the Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2021.
‘Project Dunbar brings together central banks with years of experience and unique perspectives in
CBDC projects and ecosystem partners at advanced stages of technical development on digital currencies.
With this group of capable and passionate partners, we are confident that our work on multi-CBDCs for
international settlements will break new ground in this next stage of CBDC experimentation and lay the
foundation for global payments connectivity,’ said Andrew McCormack, Centre Head of the BIS
Innovation Hub Singapore Centre.
‘We are pleased to collaborate with the BIS Innovation Hub and the central bank partners on this
important initiative to explore how a shared platform for multiple CBDCs could be used to improve the
speed, cost and transparency of wholesale cross-border transactions. Enhancing cross-border payments has
become a priority for the international regulatory community and something that we are very focused on in
our domestic policy work,’ said Michele Bullock, Assistant Governor (Financial System), Reserve
Bank of Australia.