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Singapore Fintech Festival 2021: MAS global CBDC challenge winners revealed

Singapore Fintech Festival 2021: MAS global CBDC challenge winners revealed

Concluding Singapore Fintech Festival for another year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the three winners of the global CBDC challenge after five months of competition among more than 300 submissions from over 50 countries.

Consensys, Criteo, and Giesecke+Devrient were identified as having developed retail CBDC solutions that increase payment efficiencies, improve financial inclusion, and support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy.

The winners were selected from 15 finalists who pitched their solutions at a demo day to an international panel of judges and each received a cash prize of S$50,000.

While the Consensys CBDCgo solution, in association with Visa, allows users to spend CBDCs without needing to change their payment or acceptance network, the Criteo, Secretarium and Intel Atomic CBDC solution supports anonymity and privacy for small transactions and offers traceability for large transactions for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism purposes. Finally, G+D Filia provides a means of payment that is inclusive and enables participation in the digital economy without a smartphone or a bank account.

The challenge was held in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Following this challenge, the MAS will establish the technology infrastructure and capabilities needed to build a retail CBDC system. With Project Orchid, the MAS will partner with financial institutions to study how a retail CBDC can be implemented and lay the foundation for future decisions on retail CBDC issuance.

Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer, MAS, said: “We congratulate the winners of the Global CBDC Challenge and all finalists who have demonstrated the potential of retail CBDC solutions to unlock new use cases with programmable money and create pathways to broader financial access. We would also like to thank the judges and partners of this global challenge for the joint collaboration to discover and develop innovative retail CBDC solutions.”

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