Israel, Norway and Sweden to test central bank digital currencies for cross-border transactions


 By Arsenio Toledo



The central banks of Israel, Norway and Sweden have signed up to a Bank of International Settlements-led (BIS) project that will test the feasibility of using central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for cross-border payments.

Known as Project Icebreaker, it will enable fast international transactions using CBDCs at a significantly lower cost compared to existing systems for cross-border use of CBDCs.

The project will be led by the Innovation Hub Nordic Center of the BIS. The Innovation Hub will spearhead the development of a new hub that will connect the proof-of-concept CBDC systems of Bank of Israel, the Norges Bank of Norway and the Sveriges Riksbank of Sweden.

Along with the Innovation Hub and the three participating central banks, the project will also involve participating local digital currency wallet providers, money changers, retailers and consumers.

Beju Shah, head of the Innovation Hub, said the project will explore CBDC designs and architecture and concerns relating to financial policy. The goal is to reduce the operating expenses that come with using CBDCs and to increase the speed and transparency of transactions. The BIS hopes to have a final report on the outcomes of the experiment by the first quarter of 2023. (Related: Experts warn: Centralized digital currencies could be used to control how people behave.)

“These learnings will be invaluable for central banks thinking about implementing CBDCs for cross-border payments,” said Shah.

Central bank officials from Israel, Norway and Sweden have noted that this project will help them further develop their own CBDCs – the digital shekel, the digital krone and the e-krona, respectively.



Norges Bank Executive Director for Financial Stability Torbjorn Haegeland said the project will help the bank improve its current tests involving the use of CBDC for retail payments.

Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel Andrew Abir noted that digital currencies will help small countries with an open economy like Israel facilitate “efficient and accessible cross-border payments.”

Mithra Sundberg, head of Sveriges Riksbank’s e-krona development division, said Project Icebreaker will help the bank “gain valuable lessons regarding cross-border payments using a CBDC.”

Project Icebreaker could usher in one-world currency

Similar international initiatives to test the use of CBDCs have been implemented in China, Malaysia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

On the Oct. 6 episode of “The JD Rucker Show,” host JD Rucker noted that this is one of the first projects testing out CBDCs on a large scale with this many Western nations. Rucker pointed out that CBDCs are commonly tested outside of the Western world, and the success of this project could usher in one-world currency.

Rucker also noted in an article how businesses, financial institutions and regular consumers do not benefit from the creation of CBDCs. All of the supposed benefits coming from CBDCs are already present in cryptocurrencies and in digital payments. Banks and other financial institutions are also already able to conduct financial transactions in a quick and secure fashion. The only people in society that will benefit from CBDCs, Rucker said, are government officials and their partners in the finance sector.

“Governments and their world banking partners will benefit from CBDCs in the form of absolute control over the people,” he wrote, warning how the “freedom-killing component” of CBDCs will rob people of financial freedoms “for the sake of whatever cause the Cabal wants us to impose.”

Rucker added that once most of the world has replaced their currencies with CBDCs, the globalist financial system will then transition to a “one-world central bank digital currency.”