As part of a global partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched a global CBDC challenge that is looking for retail CBDC solutions.
The aim of the challenge is to find an innovative way to increase the efficiency of payments, improve financial inclusion, and “support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy”. The challenge is open to fintech companies, financial institutions, and solution providers.
MAS Chief FinTech Officer, Sopnendu Mohanty, commented on the aim of the CBDC challenge:
“Through the Global CBDC Challenge, MAS hopes to encourage innovator communities worldwide to develop and showcase solutions that can maximise the potential of CBDC to deliver efficiencies to payment services, improve financial inclusion, consistent with central banks’ core mandate of monetary stability,”
Finalists will be offered mentorship from industry experts, and will be given access to a Digital Currency Sandbox to prototype their CBDC solutions. From a total of 15 finalists who will present at the Demo day at the Singapore FinTech Festival, up to three will receive S$150,000 in prize money.
The Global CBDC Challenge has the objective of sourcing cost-effective solutions that are accessible to all, focusing on matching market-ready solutions with 12 public policy questions that entrants must seek to tackle:
To improve and expand the accessibility and utility of digital payments
To mitigate risks associated with payment transfers and market infrastructure
Provision of a viable CBDC infrastructure that is low-cost, efficient and robust and provides for trusted settlement of payment transactions among participants.
As Singapore looks to find solutions to a retail CBDC, the question that is posed is whether Singpore will launch a people’s digital currency. The public interest in cryptocurrencies and CBDC’s, it stands to reason that Singapore, as a global financial hub, will also explore the possibilities of a CBDC alongside other countries currently doing so.
The global CBDC challenge by the MAS seems to confirm Singapore's exploration in this arena, which follows on from ‘Project Ubin’, the collaboration of U.S. investment bank J.P. Morgan and Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned investment company that explored the development of a blockchain-based multi-currency payments network prototype.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.