Singapore Ponders CBDC Release with Shortlist of Companies

Singapore Ponders CBDC Release with Shortlist of Companies



The 15 finalists that are chosen will help Singapore build and release a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released its shortlist of 15 finalist companies that will be working to develop a retail CBDC. The group of finalists is comprised of financial institutions, FinTechs, and technology solution providers from around the world. The MAS hopes the collaboration will progress the Acceleration Phase of the Global CBDC Challenge before pitching solutions to judges at Singapore’s FinTech Festival.

Singapore takes steps in CBDC development

The Global CBDC Challenge attracted more than 300 submissions from around the globe with more than half coming from Asia. Those who submitted solutions were asked to address a dozen problem statements relating to CBDC instrument, distribution, and infrastructure. Additionally, topics included interoperability and programmability. The MAS adds that “The proposals from the finalists sought to address multiple problem statements through a variety of technology approaches including hardware wallets, digital identity, and asset tokenization solutions.”

The final group of 15 was then selected by an independent group of policy and technical experts, academics, and senior representatives from intergovernmental organization partners who served as judges for the competition. 

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The 15 finalists are; ANZ Banking Group Limited, Bitt, Citibank N.A., Singapore, cLabs, Inc., Consensys, Extolabs LLC, Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH, HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited and HSBC Holdings plc, IBM, IDEMIA, Criteo, IOG Singapore Pte Ltd., Soramitsu, Standard Chartered Bank and Xfers Pte. Ltd. Six of the finalists are from Singapore with the others coming from the United States, Germany, Barbados, and several other nations.

Next steps for the chosen 15

Now that the group of finalists has been choosing, they will continue to an eight-week Acceleration Phase supported by Tribe Accelerator. The goal of this phase is to further develop and refine their solution with expert mentorships. Masterclasses and networking sessions with industry experts will be conducted along with affording the group access to the API Exchange Digital Currency Sandbox. The tool will allow for “rapid prototyping of their digital currency solutions.”

After the eight weeks, during the Global CBDC Challenge Demo Day, each finalist will present their solutions with the top three being awarded $50,000 in prize money. Each participant will be fast-tracked in any future applications for grant funding up to $200,000. The solutions for each finalist will also be published in a post-event report. 

Chief FinTech Officer at the MAS, Sopnendu Mohanty, said that “the quality of proposals received from the global innovation community was impressive. There was a healthy diversity of solution approaches across the different problem statement categories. We look forward to showcasing the shortlisted solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival.”

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