The Swiss National Bank extends the Helvetia Project III: a step forward for Swiss digital finance


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The Banca Nazionale Svizzera (BNS) has recently announced the extension of the Helvetia III Project, its wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot, for at least another two years. This decision marks an important milestone in the development of the Swiss digital financial system and reflects the BNS’s commitment to promoting technological innovation in the financial sector.

Support for the digital financial system from the Swiss National Bank

According to Vincent Gusdorf, senior vice president of Moody’s Ratings, “the decision of the BNS to extend the Helvetia Project III for another two years is a positive development for the Swiss digital finance ecosystem.” Gusdorf emphasizes how the absence of digital cash compatible with distributed ledger technology is often a significant obstacle for the advancement of this technology. The Helvetia Project III addresses this issue, allowing the settlement of financial transactions with wholesale CBDC on the SDX platform.

The Helvetia III Project represents one of the most advanced initiatives worldwide for the implementation of a wholesale CBDC. While other central banks, such as the European Central Bank and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, have begun to explore wholesale central bank digital currency, Switzerland stands out for its advancement in this field. The SDX platform, on which bonds are settled with the wholesale CBDC, offers a risk profile equivalent to that of traditional bonds, thanks to a comprehensive business continuity plan and the strict regulations imposed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

The distributed ledger technology (DLT) is the foundation of wholesale CBDC and offers numerous advantages, including greater transparency, security, and efficiency in financial transactions. However, integrating this technology with the traditional financial system presents significant challenges. The Progetto Helvetia III is an example of how these challenges can be successfully addressed, creating a bridge between the world of digital currencies and that of traditional finance.

The impact of the Progetto Helvetia III

The extension of the Helvetia Project III will have a significant impact on various aspects of the Swiss financial system. Firstly, it will allow the BNS to continue testing and developing DLT technology in a controlled environment, gathering valuable data and feedback that can be used to further improve the system. Secondly, it will help consolidate Switzerland’s position as a leader in financial innovation, attracting investments and talent in the financial technology sector.

Looking to the future, the extension of the Progetto Helvetia III offers numerous opportunities for Switzerland and the global financial system. The experimentation and implementation of a wholesale CBDC could lead to a wider adoption of digital currencies globally, improving the efficiency and security of international financial transactions. Additionally, it could stimulate the adoption of new technologies and practices in the financial sector, fostering a more innovative and dynamic environment.


In conclusion, the decision of the Swiss National Bank to extend the Helvetia Project III represents a significant step towards the future of digital finance. As noted by Vincent Gusdorf of Moody’s Ratings, this move is a positive signal for the Swiss digital finance ecosystem, addressing one of the main challenges related to distributed ledger technology and paving the way for further innovations in the financial sector. With Switzerland at the forefront in the development of wholesale CBDCs, the future of digital finance appears promising and full of possibilities.