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Singapore’s Monetary Authority to Expand Wholesale CBDC Pilots

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Pixabay

Singapore’s central bank, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has unveiled plans to start live Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) wholesale pilots and efforts to expand the framework.

On Nov 16, the financial authority released plans for a safe an innovative use of digital money in the country highlighting key areas including rolling out a blueprint for its infrastructural goals.

The industry release centered on three broad aspects including expanding digital currency trials through wholesale markets, the aforementioned blueprint on the infrastructure to host the digital Singapore dollar, and a live CBDC wholesale trial.

Generally, the bank recognizes wholesale CBDCs, regulated stablecoins, and tokenized bank liabilities as digital currencies under the framework.

According to the release, MAS seeks to drive growing anticipation in the sector by introducing retail and larger investors to its wholesale CBDC. Although officially kicking off next year, it will develop interbank settlement systems to promote the live test of the digital currency.

The first pilot will involve the use of “live” wholesale CBDC to settle retail payments between commercial banks. Future pilots could include the use of “live” wholesale CBDC for the settlement of cross-border securities trade.”

MAS to utilize the Orchid Blueprint

The financial regulator has said the technology that would enable digital money transactions in the country will be built on Project Orchid. It will introduce a settlement ledger for record transfers and the registration and programmability of tokens.

Other touted components include a tokenization bridge, name service, and the programmability protocol. The bridge connects accounts created with several ledgers making all forms of digital money interoperable while Purpose Bound Money will state conditions and causes a payment is geared towards.

To scale the country’s PBM, four tests would be carried out including tokenized bank liabilities to make sure tokens issued by one bank are acceptable to others. Global finance giants will also be merged to promote wallet interoperability and limit fraudulent transactions

“J.P. Morgan is exploring the use of payment controls to enable a bank’s institutional clients to hold deposit tokens and transfer them to clients outside of the issuing bank’s direct customer base as long as the banks are part of an agreed trust ecosystem.”

CBDC is a top priority

Singapore’s PBM will allow Amazon and HSBC to improve tokenized payments for supply financing helping merchants secure and utilize working capital for their businesses.

The country has made huge progress in developing the CBDC from its first pilot which saw commercial banks facilitate retail payments and tip at wider cross-border settlements.

Several countries have backed CBDCs as the answer to private cryptocurrencies which are more risky and “dangerous to the economy” while they view digital currencies as a better option to drive innovation.