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HKMA Releases Official White Paper To Explore Digital Hong Kong Dollar

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has released an official white paper exploring the potential of a retail-focused central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD).

It has been reported that the HKMA will seek to understand the “potential architectures and design options” from a technical and regulatory policy perspective, with the ambition of creating a dual-tier system — the first being designed for a “central bank to issue and redeem CBDC,” and the second being retail-centric for “commercial banks to distribute and circulate either rCBDC or CBDC-backed e-money.”

However, Hong Kong debuted its investigation into CBDCs in 2017 with Project LionRock, and in early 2020, it embarked on a seven-month collaboration with the Bank of Thailand, prospecting the “potential of wholesale CBDC for cross-border payments.”

The report said that the initiative soon evolved into Multiple CBDC Bridge in February 2021 following the introduction of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China. This “m-CDBC” will aim to use distributed ledger technology to deliver a proof-of-concept model for a unified payments network.

In June 2021, the HKMA announced Fintech 2025, a financial technology initiative focused on five areas of innovation, including offering support to central banks in the adoption of a CBDC, developing a skilled workforce.

Eddie Yue, the chief executive of HKMA, said:

“The Whitepaper marks the first step of our technical exploration for the e-HKD. The knowledge gained from this research, together with the experience we acquired from other CBDC projects, would help inform further consideration and deliberation on the technical design of the e-HKD.”

Yue added:

“We also look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions from the academia and industry to enrich our perspectives.”

Thus, the People’s Republic of China has been consistently ambitious in its pursuit of a CBDC, establishing itself as a prominent leader in the burgeoning global market despite issuing a blanket ban on all crypto-related activities alongside Hong Kong.

Source: Cointelegraph



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