Bank of Italy and associates embark on CBDC pilot


The Bank of Italy has revealed it is spearheading an innovative project to explore the potential of a CBDC.

The endeavour, dubbed Project Leonidas, is a joint venture that brings together 18 Italian commercial banks as well as the Associazione Bancaria Italiana (ABI), an organisation representing the Italian banking sector.

The motive behind launching Project Leonidas is to evaluate blockchain applications that could bolster financial stability and safeguard consumer interests. This new product emerges from the rapidly evolving digital landscape, where innovative technologies like blockchain can transform traditional financial processes.

The Bank of Italy, established in 1893, is the institution that governs the nation’s financial stability, monetary policy, and overall financial system. By venturing into the digital realm with a potential CBDC, the Bank of Italy illustrates its dedication to embracing technological advancements and adjusting its policies accordingly.

Project Leonidas, the product at the centre of this venture, will leverage a shared ledger for interbank payments. This system is designed to streamline payment procedures among the participating banks, potentially leading to increased efficiency and reduced transaction times in the financial landscape.

Project Leonidas, however, is not the first digital assets pilot to involve the ABI. The association previously launched the Spunta project three years ago, a scheme involving more than 100 banks and a shared ledger for interbank payment reconciliations. Despite this, the recent initiation of Project Leonidas represents a significant milestone in the exploration of CBDCs in Italy.

Furthermore, this venture is not exclusive to Italy. There are several CBDC pilots currently taking place across Europe, with recent ones involving the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements. Such initiatives illustrate the burgeoning interest in digital currencies among financial institutions across the continent.

Bank of Italy’s representative remarked, “With the launch of Project Leonidas, we’re diving into the digital future, aiming to explore how blockchain can promote financial stability and protect consumers”.

Last week, The Bank of England (BoE) and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), successfully completed a collaborative project regarding CBDC.

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