The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced its collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nation High Commission For Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to launch global challenge for retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solutions which aims to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.
The challenge focuses on three (3) key areas:
1. CBDC instruments
2. CBDC Distribution
3. CBDC Infrastructure
Fintech companies and financial institutions globally are invited to submit their innovative solutions which can address problems within the key areas, which have been identified based on suggestions received from partner organizations globally.
According to MAS, CBDC has the potential to “increase payment efficiencies, improve financial inclusion, and support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy.” However, it needs to be built under public policy objectives.
As MAS states, the innovative solutions must be accessible to all walks of life, including lower-income households, and those people who are less tech-savvy. Its design must also contribute to “financial system resilience and integrity, and must be consistent with monetary and financial stability.”
The Global CBDC Challenge partner organizations are Amazon Web Services, Mastercard, Partior, R3 and open source software foundations, Hyperledger and the Mojaloop Foundation, together with the API Exchange (APIX) and Tribe Accelerator. Up to 15 solution providers will be selected to receive mentorship from industry expert partner organisations. They will also be given access to APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions. The sandbox allows for a comprehensive testing and development of these solutions by utilizing core-banking APIs from APIX, payments APIs from Mojaloop Foundation, digital currency APIs from Mastercard, Partior and R3, and more than 100 APIs provided via the APIX marketplace.
Finalists will pitch their solutions to a global audience on Demo Day to be held at this year’s Singapore Fintech Festival. Up to three (3) winners will be selected, with each receiving $50,000 in prize money.
“Central banks worldwide are actively exploring issuance of digital currencies, and are confronted with a wide range of policy and technology challenges,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Office of MAS. He also believes that through this Global CBDC challenge, innovators will be encouraged to develop and showcase their solutions which can help improve payment services, improve financial inclusion, consistent with central banks core mandate of monetary stability.
Interested parties are encouraged to submit their applications for the Global CBDC Challenge here by July 23 2021.
This article is published on BitPinas: SG Central Bank, IMF, World Bank Launch Retail Digital Currency Challenge