Project Leonidas: R3 is delighted to be joining forces with ABI Lab, ABI and NTT Data Italia to revolutionize Italy’s financial landscape

Exploring a DLT-based Wholesale CBDC within the Spunta Network

R3, in collaboration with ABI Lab, ABI (Italian Banking Association), and NTT Data Italia, has been selected by the prestigious Bank of Italy and its Innovation Hub for the ground-breaking ‘Project Leonidas.’ This exceptional initiative aims to explore and develop wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) capabilities within the Spunta Banca DLT solution, a critical infrastructure of Italy’s financial ecosystem. Spunta Banca DLT is the only application based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in production on an entire national banking sector, with significant volumes; processing 94 nodes and over 600 million technical transactions in three years.

Milano Hub, the innovation centre created by The Bank of Italy to support the digital evolution of the financial market, called for proposals in 2022 to foster advancements in the application of technology based on distributed ledgers (DLT) to banking, financial, insurance and payment services.  The intensive evaluation process involved analyzing 57 submissions from 81 participants with the submitted projects being evaluated through three different sub-hubs: Fintech, Innovation and Research & Development. R3, in collaboration with ABI Lab, ABI and NTT Data Italia with the support of a group of banks emerged as part of the selected partners to be part of the Fintech Hub with the project.

ABI Lab, the Research and Innovation centre for Banks, together with ABI, the representative association of Italian banking groups, bring their vast experience and unwavering commitment to the project. As esteemed partners, ABI Lab’s and ABI’s involvement hold great significance, further solidifying the importance and potential impact of ‘Project Leonidas.’ Their deep understanding of the Italian banking industry, coupled with their dedication to fostering innovation and digital transformation, will undoubtedly contribute to the project’s success. Not to mention their experience in sponsoring and running one of the largest scale DLT production solution, Spunta Banca DLT, on Corda for more than three years.

R3 will bring its extensive expertise in distributed ledger technology as well as its global leading flagship distributed application platform, Corda, renowned for its security, scalability, and privacy features. Working in close collaboration with ABI Lab and ABI, R3 aims to leverage its collective knowledge and synergistic capabilities to create a robust, efficient, and future-ready CBDC solution.

In this transformative journey, R3 is also pleased to welcome NTT Data Italia as a key partner. Its expertise in technology integration will play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless collaboration between the CBDC ecosystem and the existing financial infrastructure. NTT Data Italia’s deep knowledge and proficiency will empower the team to develop a future-ready CBDC solution that aligns with the evolving needs of Italy’s financial sector.

As one of the fourteen esteemed projects chosen by the Bank of Italy, the Project Leonidas team of experts is eager to embark on a six-month development journey, commencing shortly  after the project selection announcement on May 17. Over the next 6 months, the team will dedicate its efforts to the exploration, design, and development of a wholesale CBDC solution tailored specifically for the Spunta Network. Upon the completion of the six-month development phase, R3 is optimistic that team Project Leonidas’ efforts will create a solution that not only showcases the immense potential of digital currencies to integrate in existing DLT solutions to enhance efficiency and transparency, but also reinforces Italy’s dedication to technological advancement in the financial domain and position as a global innovation hub.

Read more in the official press release here.