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Italian Banking Association trials two styles of wholesale CBDC

17 iunie 2024

Last year the Italian Banking Association said it would trial a wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC), Project Leonidas, as part of a Bank of Italy’s sandbox. It released the trial results last week, declaring it a success. The primary benefits were atomic transactions, transparency and information traceability.

The tests were conducted in 2023 and planned before the Eurosystems wholesale DLT trials with central bank money were announced.

While other wCBDC trials often involve testing securities settlement, the ABI focused on the settlement of interbank transactions. It has the distinction of launching one of the first mass DLT banking deployments, Project Spunta, the interbank reconciliation process that went into production in 2020 with almost 100 Italian banks.

Unsurprisingly, Spunta featured in one of the two Leonidas use cases. Spunta uses DLT to automate interbank reconciliations, providing the balances owed or due between the banks. As part of Project Leonidas, a wholesale CBDC was used to settle the interbank balances automatically.

The second use case involved the automated settlement of Cash in Transit. Each bank holds cash in dedicated vaults handled by a Cash Handling Company. That way they can distribute cash to their branches. However, sometimes one bank is short and another has excess cash. So the money is moved between their vaults. That leaves a debt between the banks, which is usually settled with a wire transfer. For the trial, the interbank cash movement was automatically settled using the wCBDC.

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Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”

So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

Many more interesting quotes in the video below:


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?