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Truist, Wells Fargo join digital token pilot program

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PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Truist Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. are participating in a 12-week federal digital token pilot program.

Three national and super-regional banks with major Triad operations are participating in a pilot program involving digital tokens that will represent digital dollar transactions.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Truist Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. are involved in the 12-week proof-of-concept program being managed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The goal is testing a financial platform known as the regulated liability network (RLN) to see if it can accelerate payment transactions.

The banks will issue tokens representing customers’ deposits. The tokens will be handled through a central bank reserve on a shared distributed ledger, according to CoinDesk.com.

The project will be conducted by the New York reserve bank’s innovation center in a test environment using only simulated data.

The pilot program is being conducted at a time when many national and super-regional banks also are testing wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDC) toward enhancing payment settlement finality, liquidity and integrity.

“It is not intended to advance any specific policy outcome, nor is it intended to signal that the Federal Reserve will make any imminent decisions about the appropriateness of issuing a retail or wholesale CBDC, nor how one would necessarily be designed,” according to the N.Y. reserve bank.

PNC, Truist and Wells Fargo could not be immediately reached for comment about their participation.

Per von Zelowitz, director of the New York Innovation Center, said the pilot program could serve “to advance research on asset tokenization and the future of financial market infrastructures in the U.S. as money and banking evolve.

The New York Innovation Center, founded in 2021, aims to “generate insights into high-value central bank-related opportunities through technical research, experimentation and prototyping, to drive advancements in central banking and enhance the functioning of the global financial system.”

Other participating financial institutions include Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, HSBC, MasterCard, TD Bank and U.S. Bancorp.

After the proof-of-concept, a report summarizing the findings from design and testing will be released.

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