German federal bank runs successful blockchain system without a CBDC

Executives at the Deutsche Bundesbank are eager to launch a blockchain-based system without the need for a CBDC — and they just might succeed.

Germany’s federal bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, has run successful tests on a project which bridges the traditional finance infrastructure with blockchain technology.

Despite the current global rush by central banks to familiarise themselves with central bank digital currency technology, the testing carried out by the Bundesbank, in conjunction with the Deutsche Börse Group and the German Finance Agency, required the issuance of no CB, or any tokenized money at all.

The system reportedly relies on two software modules which form a connection between the Bundesbank’s internal system and distributed ledger technology. Instead of creating a token-based system, the bank simply created an interface that initiates a “trigger,” signifying that a transaction has been settled and that money can safely change hands.

Germany has made no secret of the fact that it isn’t too keen on a CBDC. That may be because the Bundesbank’s position as the most powerful member of the European System of Central Banks makes it the organization with the most influence to lose. That’s a sentiment that was echoed by German politician Burkhard Balz himself in 2020.

Following the announcement of the Bundesbank’s recent tests, Balz, who is also a member of the Bundesbank executive board, suggested the entire Eurosystem could adopt the technology in a much quicker fashion than it could launch a CBDC.

“Following successful testing, the Eurosystem should be able to implement such a solution in a relatively short space of time — at least in far less time than it would take to issue central bank digital currency, for instance,” said Balz.

As part of the testing, the German Finance Agency issued a 10-year federal bond via the DLT trigger system, while also testing securities trading on primary and secondary markets. The testing included participants from Citibank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Commerzbank, DZ Bank and Société Générale.
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