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Bank for International Settlements advised on new blockchain pilot

Global law firm King & Wood Mallesons has advised the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) on the cross-border Project mBridge pilot.

user iconEmma Musgrave 09 November 2022 Big Law
Bank for International Settlements advised on new blockchain pilot
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Firm: King & Wood Mallesons (BIS)

Deal: BIS has been advised on Project mBridge, which successfully piloted a landmark new blockchain-based platform for cross-border transactions utilising multiple central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Value: The pilot saw over US$12 million issued and over 160 transactions conducted to a value of more than US$22 million.


Area: Technology; banking and finance

Key players: The King & Wood Mallesons team was led by partner Urszula McCormack with support from senior associates Evan Manolios and Alison Leung.

In Mainland China, the team was led by partner Leimin Yu.

Deal significance: According to a statement provided by King & Wood Mallesons, Project mBridge is an ongoing collaboration between four participating jurisdictions (Hong Kong, Mainland China, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates), their respective central banks, and select commercial banks.

“The ultimate aim is to connect economies via CBDCs using a wholesale exchange platform, in an effort to help make cross-border payments cheaper, faster, secure and more accessible,” the statement said, noting that the pilot saw participation from 20 commercial banks, utilising CBDCs issued by participating central banks.

“KWM worked closely with the BIS team, participating central banks and local counsel to navigate the legal, regulatory and governance-related considerations associated with the project. The pilot involved significant central and commercial bank co-ordination and highly complex legal, regulatory and cross-border issues,” the statement continued.

Commenting further, lead partner Urszula McCormack said: “The mBridge pilot represents a landmark for the development of CBDC use cases in the APAC region, and more broadly, the development of novel institutional, cross-border payment platforms.

“Collaborating with BIS and the central banks is a remarkable journey, and we’re greatly looking forward to the next steps ahead.”