The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has formed a partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other organizations to introduce an international challenge for retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solutions.
According to an official announcement, the primary focus of the recently announced Global CBDC Challenge is to support innovation in payments. MAS encouraged global financial technology companies and other solution providers to submit innovative solutions.
The authority highlighted 12 main problem statements in three key areas including CBDC instrument, CBDC distribution and CBDC infrastructure. MAS mentioned that innovative retail CBDC solutions will support efficient payments and financial inclusion.
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“The Global CBDC Challenge will be supported by Amazon Web Services, Mastercard, Partior, R3 and open-source software foundations, Hyperledger and the Mojaloop Foundation and managed by the API Exchange (APIX) and Tribe Accelerator. Up to 15 finalists will be selected to receive mentorship from industry experts and be given access to the APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions. The Sandbox will offer a comprehensive test and development platform that includes core-banking APIs from APIX, payment APIs from Mojaloop Foundation, digital currency APIs from Mastercard, Partior and R3 and more than 100 APIs provided via the APIX marketplace,” MAS mentioned in the official announcement.
The authority added that the selected finalists will be able to pitch their solutions to the international audience. Up to three selected winners will receive S$50,000 in prize money.
Several countries and regulatory authorities around the world are exploring the possibility of CBDCs. In November 2020, Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), mentioned in a statement that the ECB will launch a digital euro in the next two to four years. “Central banks worldwide are actively exploring the issuance of digital currencies, and are confronted with a wide range of policy and technology challenges,” Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, commented.