HKMA Picks 16 Firms for Retail CBDC Pilot Programme ‘e-HKD’

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has commenced its e-HKD Pilot Programme with a total of 16 firms selected from the financial, payment and technology sectors whom will participate in the first phase this year.

The firms include Alipay HK, ARTA-Emali HK, Bank of China (Hong Kong), China Construction Bank, Fubon Bank (Hong Kong), Ripple Labs, Giesecke+Devrient, Standard Chartered, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, Visa, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Mastercard, Boston Consulting Group, HKT Payment, and ZA Bank.

The regulator will currently look into potential use cases in six categories, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenised deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions and settlement of tokenised assets.

HKMA stressed that it is not yet at a point where a firm decision can be made to introduce e-HKD.

The regulator aims to share the key learnings with the public at Hong Kong Fintech Week 2023. It also expects to conduct more rounds of pilots with the industry in the future.

Additionally, HKMA also plans to establish a CBDC Expert Group comprising leading academics from local universities for insights on key policy and technical issues surrounding CBDC, such as privacy protection, cybersecurity and interoperability.

Eddie Yue

Eddie Yue

Eddie Yue, the Chief Executive of the HKMA said,

“While the HKMA has not yet made a decision on whether and when to introduce e-HKD, we are excited to kick-start the e-HKD Pilot Programme, which serves as a tremendous opportunity for the HKMA to collaborate with the industry in exploring innovative use cases and maximising our readiness for a potential e-HKD.”

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