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According to MasterCard CEO Michael Miebach, the current SWIFT interbank messaging system will likely cease to exist after five years.
Miebach was speaking at a panel adjoining to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Financial Discussion board’s annual summit hosted by the Küresel Blockchain Enterprise Council (GBBC), which discussed the future of cross-border payments systems and the potential of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
However, other panelists including Jennifer Lassiter of Digital Dollar Project and Jon Frost, Senior Economist at the Bank for International Settlements, all agreed that SWIFT will still exist in five years.
Miebach also highlighted the importance of crypto regulation at the panel discussion “Rules of the Road”, stating that regulation will help to “reduce the noise in the crypto world”.
MasterCard has been heavily involved in the development of CBDCs. In 2020, the company developed a CBDC testing platform for central banks.
Miebach’s opinion is not invalid, with recent surveys from the central bank of central banks (Bank of International Settlements in Basel) indicating that at least 80% of central banks are contemplating issuing a CBDC, which will likely operate on some form of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) instead of SWIFT.
A MasterCard spokesperson has since tried to downplay Miebach’s comments via an email announcement.
“Michael was simply reinforcing what SWIFT has previously said – their operations continue to evolve. Its current form will not be the same in the future. They are adding more functionality and moving past just being a messaging system.”