Hong Kong Monetary Authority Launches Digital Hong Kong Dollar (CBDC) Pilot
- The e-HKD Pilot Programme aims to examine use cases and implementation issues relating to a potential retail central bank digital currency (CBDC).
- Sixteen firms from various sectors have been selected to participate in the first round of pilots for 2023, which will help refine HKMA’s approach to the possible implementation of e-HKD.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced the commencement of the e-HKD Pilot Programme, which could pave the way for implementing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The program will closely collaborate with various stakeholders to examine use cases and implementation and design issues relating to e-HKD. The HKMA plans to conduct a series of pilots in six categories, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, Web3 transactions, and settlement of tokenized assets.
Sixteen firms from the financial, payment, and technology sectors have been selected to participate in the first round of pilots for 2023. The HKMA is not yet at a point where a firm decision can be made to introduce e-HKD, but the pilots will help enrich the HKMA’s perspective and refine its approach to the possible implementation of the digital currency.
The e-HKD Pilot Programme is a key component of Rail 2 under the HKMA’s three-rail approach. The HKMA also plans to establish a CBDC Expert Group to facilitate collaboration between the government, industry, and academia on CBDC research.
The Expert Group will comprise leading academics from local universities who will contribute valuable insights to support Hong Kong’s future exploration on key policy and technical issues surrounding CBDC, such as privacy protection, cybersecurity, and interoperability.
Additionally, the HKMA expects to share the key learnings with the public at Hong Kong FinTech Week 2023. The actual outcome and results of the pilots may evolve, but the HKMA aims to maximize its readiness for the potential implementation of e-HKD.
Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr. Eddie Yue, said that the e-HKD Pilot Programme serves as a tremendous opportunity for the HKMA to collaborate with the industry in exploring innovative use cases. The HKMA appreciates the industry’s active participation in the pilots and looks forward to the results.
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