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Top central banks to lay groundwork for instant digital cross-border payments

TOKYO -- Seven central banks will join with private-sector lenders to test the use of "tokenized" money on a digital ledger for faster, cheaper international transactions, which could mark a step toward a new settlement system.

Project Agora, announced Wednesday by the Bank for International Settlements, brings together the central banks of Japan, South Korea, the U.K., France, Switzerland and Mexico as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions will work with major commercial banks to be brought together by the Institute of International Finance.