Peersyst + Colombia Central Bank

Colombia Wholesale – CBDC

Se podrán evaluar potenciales eficiencias a través de los resultados obtenidos en el desarrollo de una solución con tecnología Blockchain, que logre mejorar y complementar los procesos en las entidades de manera segura y eficiente. Además, brindará una solución tecnológica (Prototipo), que permitirá realizar simulaciones de diferentes casos de uso en el sistema de pagos de alto valor.

Mauricio Lizcano

Ministro TIC


Colombia’s large value payment system, managed by Banco de la República, stands as a beacon of efficiency and reliability, adeptly serving the nation’s economic needs. This system represents a foundational pillar for Colombia’s financial stability, successfully facilitating transactions across the diverse markets of the economy. Recognizing the critical role of continuous innovation and the pursuit of excellence in financial services, Banco de la República is committed to exploring advanced solutions to complement the system services and ensure it remains at the forefront of technological advancements.

Central banks globally confront in the domain of digital finance and payments systems. These challenges, common across economies of all sizes, provide a backdrop against which innovative solutions like Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are being explored. The list below outlines these universal challenges, illustrating the complex landscape in which central banks operate and the proactive steps they are taking to address these issues, thereby ensuring the resilience, efficiency, and inclusivity of their financial systems:

Why explore CBDCs?

In the quest for continuous improvement and innovation, central banks, including Banco de la República, are exploring the potential of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). This exploration is driven by the desire to leverage new technologies to enhance financial systems’ efficiency, resilience, and inclusivity. Here are key areas where CBDCs offer significant opportunities for improvement:

  • Efficiency and Liquidity Optimization: CBDCs, drawing on blockchain’s peer-to-peer foundation, minimize intermediary roles, cutting transaction costs and time. Instant settlements intrinsic to blockchain further reduce the need to allocate liquidity to counterparties, streamlining financial transactions and enhancing system efficiency.
  • Securities Trading and DvP: Through asset tokenization, securities can be integrated into the CBDC network, allowing for transactions to occur within the same system as monetary exchanges. This unification simplifies the delivery versus payment process, ensuring that the transfer of securities and the corresponding payments are synchronized, reducing complexity and enhancing transaction efficiency.
  • Streamlining Payment Infrastructures: By leveraging blockchain’s capabilities, CBDCs eliminate the need for auxiliary networks, including ACH, for instant and retail payments. This convergence into a singular, efficient network simplifies the system’s architecture, reducing complexity and minimizing components.
  • Future-Proofing and Programmability: CBDCs, with their inherent programmability, offer a forward-looking approach to financial systems, ensuring adaptability to evolving technologies and economic needs. This programmability allows for the development of innovative financial products and services, catering to future demands while enhancing current functionalities.

Integrating CBDC into the Economic Fabric

The path to embedding a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) into an economy requires careful consideration to ensure it enhances efficiency while remaining largely imperceptible to the public and businesses, except where benefits are realized. This section outlines the foundational steps for integrating a CBDC, focusing on maintaining business continuity, preserving monetary confidence, and navigating the regulatory landscape.

Bogota business as usual

Business as Usual

Integrating the CBDC as a direct extension of the existing currency ensures it only becomes noticeable when it delivers clear performance enhancements. This approach avoids the complexities of managing a parallel currency system, thus streamlining processes and maintaining the operational efficiencies introduced by the CBDC.

Preserving Confidence in the Monetary System

The introduction of a CBDC, mirroring the current national currency in digital form, is pivotal in sustaining the trust and integrity of the monetary system. This strategy prevents potential confusion and confidence erosion that could arise from operating dual currencies, ensuring continuity and stability.

CBDC and monetary confidence
Regulatory evolution in CBDC

Regulatory evolution

Adapting the CBDC within the existing legal and regulatory framework is essential for a smooth transition. This involves working within current central bank mandates, which traditionally restrict currency issuance to a single form, and may require iterative regulatory updates to accommodate the innovative nature of CBDCs.


Tokenised securities trading

Streamlines the delivery vs. payment process, enabling simultaneous settlements without a clearinghouse, enhancing trade security, reducing costs, and mitigating risks.

Retail payment networks

Enhancements in high-value payment systems through CBDCs will bolster retail networks, enabling more robust, efficient, and real-time transactions, benefiting the broader payment ecosystem.

Tax collection automation

CBDCs’ programmability can automate tax collection, improving efficiency and compliance, accelerating government revenue collection, and simplifying business processes for greater transparency and trust.

Financial inclusion

Leveraging blockchain, CBDCs can extend financial services to the unbanked, lower transaction costs, and facilitate offline payments, promoting a more inclusive financial system.

Charting the Future Path

This pilot project, a collaboration between Banco de la República, Peersyst, MinTic, and Ripple, sets the stage for a deeper exploration of CBDCs to identify potential complements or improvements to the large value payment system. Serving as a dynamic sandbox, this initiative allows for the validation of concepts and system refinement in preparation for potential broader application.

Precision and meticulous planning underscore our collective journey towards integrating a CBDC, emphasizing the critical importance of the payment system’s integrity and effectiveness. This partnership is committed to excellence, ensuring outcomes that could pave the way for expanded pilots.

The collaborative spirit of this venture is poised to address contemporary challenges while building a resilient, forward-looking financial infrastructure for Colombia.

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