BIS makes CBDC expert head of innovation hub Eurosystem Centre

Raphael Auer is published widely in the field of CBDCs, stablecoins and cryptocurrencies

 Bank International Settlement                                 
The Eurosystem Centre is expected to open during the first half of 2022 - Photo:Alamy
                                

The Bank for International Settlement (BIS) has made Raphael Auer the new head of innovation hub, Eurosystem Centre.

Auer is published widely in the field of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), stablecoins and cryptocurrencies.

Auer is currently a principal economist in the Innovation and the Digital Economy unit of the BIS Monetary and Economic Department.

The BIS Innovation Hub Eurosystem Centre will have locations in both Frankfurt and Paris.

Expected to open in first half of 2022

The Eurosystem Centre is expected to open during the first half of 2022. It will also be hosted by the European Central Bank (ECB) and other European central banks such as the Deutsche Bundesbank and the Bank of France.

The BIS has launched innovation hubs centres all around the world, including Switzerland, Hong Kong, England, Singapore and Sweden, as well as forming a strategic partnership with the US Federal Reserve system.

A centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is planned to open in 2022.

Possesses ‘deep-seated knowledge’ of cryptos

Benoît Cœuré, head of the BIS Innovation Hub said: “I am delighted that Raphael is joining the Innovation Hub team. His deep-seated knowledge of digital currencies and financial technology, gained through his extensive experience as a policy and research economist, will strengthen the intellectual foundations of the practical experimentations conducted by the Innovation Hub. The Eurosystem Centre's work will be a key part of the Innovation Hub's growing project portfolio and will connect us with the euro area's vibrant innovation ecosystem.”

Prior to joining the BIS in 2015 Auer was deputy head of International Trade and Capital Flows at the Swiss National Bank.

Central banks test prototypes for cross-border CBDC settlements

In September, the BIS recruited four central banks to test the use of wholesale CBDCs for international settlements.

Technical prototypes of the shared platforms were displayed at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November, while the experiment's findings will be published early in 2022 in line with the G20 roadmap for enhancing cross-border payments.

The BIS Innovation Hub's Singapore Centre enlisted the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank Negara Malaysia, Monetary Authority of Singapore and South African Reserve Bank to test the use of CBDCs.

BIS explained that Project Dunbar will develop prototype shared platforms for cross-border transactions using multiple CBDCs and will eliminate the need for intermediaries, cutting the time and cost of transactions.

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