Global banks ANZ, Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered are among the 15 finalists selected by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a competition aimed at overcoming problems in the development of a retail central bank digital currency.
Launched in June, the Global CBDC Challenge attracted over 300 submissions from financial institutions, fintechs and technology providers from more than 50 countries.
Participants were invited to address 12 problem statements relating to the nature of a CBDC instrument, distribution and infrastructure, covering topics such as inclusivity, interoperability and programmability.
The proposals from the finalists sought to address multiple problem statements through a variety of technology approaches including hardware wallets, digital identity and asset tokenisation.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, MAS, says: “The Global CBDC Challenge aims to discover and develop retail CBDC solutions that will benefit the global community. We are encouraged by the strong interest from established financial institutions and emerging fintechs alike."
The finalists will next go through an eight-week Acceleration Phase, where they will be able to tap into extenral support and refine their prototypes in the Singapore central bank's digital currency sandbox.
All participants will present their innovations at a demo day at the Singapore Fintech Festival and the top three will win S$50,000 in prize money each.
All 15 finalists will also be fast-tracked in their applications for grant funding of up to S$200,000, under the MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof-of-Concept Scheme.