The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) plans to open four new innovation centers in the field of fintechs with focus on digital currencies. With the eye on the future of money, the institution intends to open these hubs —located in Europe and North America—over the next two years.
The new units will be located in Toronto, Stockholm, London, as well as a joint hub in Frankfurt and Paris. The projects will be made in collaboration with the Bank of Canada, Bank of England, European Central Bank and four Nordic central banks: Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. There will also be a partnership with the Federal Reserve System (of the American Central Bank).
However, the choice of the cities is not by chance. As Coindesk points out, both the Bank of Canada and Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s Central Bank), for example, are analysing projects involving cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, the ECB and the Bank of England have teamed up with BIS and other monetary authorities in a CBDCs study group for central bank digital currencies.
BIS surveys will go beyond digital currencies
Yet, the Central Bank of central banks expects that new innovation centers will develop solutions beyond cryptocurrencies:
“With this expansion, the Innovation Center will be well positioned to take work forward on a wide range of issues of importance to the central bank community, including digital currencies and digital payments, cybersecurity, distributed registration technology and artificial intelligence”, said Benoît Cœuré, head of BIS’s Innovation Hub.
The measure represents an expansion of the institution’s current innovation center structure, which has three hubs: Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland. Above all, it shows that BIS remains committed to its initiative to incubate fintechs at a high level. And that digital currencies will be part of these developments. It is worth remembering that BIS had previously requested that its existing innovation units should do research related to stablecoins, CBDCs and other related technologies.