Fifteen firms have been finalized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), a release from the MAS shows.
Relatively a ‘crypto-friendly’ state compared to other countries, Singapore put crypto and blockchain regulations in place back in 2017, and started legwork on a digital version of the Singapore Dollar in 2018. And that planning is now coming to fruition.
Developing a CBDC
As per an announcement by the MAS, fifteen financial and technological companies have been selected to build the framework for and test the Singapore digital currency. Local financial firms and Fintechs dominate the list—including IOG Singapore Pte Ltd, Citibank N.A., Standard Chartered Bank, IDEMIA, HSBC Bank Limited, HSBC Holdings Plc, and Xfers Pte Ltd.
International companies shortlisted are Criteo (France), Bitt (Barbados), and Soramitsu (Switzerland), and Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH (Germany). Meanwhile, from down under comes ANZ Banking Group Limited from Australia.
The firms will build their own pilot versions of a retail CBDC and, if selected, help MAS build the final version of the projects. Three “winners” will be selected in total, and a cash prize of 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $37,000) will be up for grabs.
All finalists will be given access to Singapore’s “APIX Digital Currency Sandbox,” one that allows teams to build prototypes of digital currency solutions. The so-termed ‘Sandbox’ exosystem would further contain 100 APIs linked to payments and core banking, and the finalists can also put their CBDC solutions on display during the Singapore Fintech Festival in November 2021.
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