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MAS Announces Winners of the Global CBDC Challenge

·6 min read

SINGAPORE, Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced the results of the Global Central Bank Digital Currency Challenge (Global CBDC Challenge) at the FinTech Awards Ceremony of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). The Global CBDC Challenge has helped to identify and develop retail CBDC solutions that increase payment efficiencies, improve financial inclusion and support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy. 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[1].

(PRNewsfoto/Monetary Authority of Singapore)
(PRNewsfoto/Monetary Authority of Singapore)

After five months of intense competition among more than 300 submissions from over 50 countries[2], three winners were selected for their innovative solutions that best addressed the policy objectives of the challenge. The winners were selected from 15 finalists who pitched their solutions at a Demo Day to an international panel of judges. The three top winners each received a cash prize of S$50,000. Please refer to Annexes A and B respectively for details on the competition and winners. The top three teams are (in no order of merit):

Represented by

Participating Organisations

Solution Name

Consensys

ConsenSys and Visa

CBDCgo - digital currency, seamless acceptance

Criteo

Criteo SA, Secretarium Ltd. and Intel® Corporation

The Atomic CBDC Solution

Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH

Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH

G+D Filia

CBDCgo provides integration and coexistence with existing systems, along with security and accessibility. Users can spend CBDCs without needing to change their payment or acceptance network. The Atomic CBDC solution is a digital currency platform that is safeguarded by hardware-based security. It supports anonymity and privacy for small transactions and offers traceability for large transactions for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism purposes. 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. It enables the private sector to develop innovative solutions on an interoperable platform.

The panel of judges comprised thought leaders, policy experts, academia, and senior representatives from central banks and inter-governmental organisations:

  • Benoit Coeure, Head of BIS Innovation Hub, Bank for International Settlements

  • Filianingsih Hendarta, Assistant Governor, Head of Payment System Policy Department, Bank Indonesia

  • Dr Marcelo Madureira Prates, BCB General Counsel's Office Chief of Staff, Central Bank of Brazil

  • Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya

  • Professor Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Harvard University

  • Tobias Adrian, Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund

  • Shri P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Payments and Settlements, Reserve Bank of India

  • Jean Denis Pesme, Global Director, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, World Bank.

The Global CBDC Challenge concludes the first phase of MAS' study to explore possible retail CBDC solutions. In the next phase, MAS will embark on Project Orchid, which will build on the findings from this Challenge and aims to establish the technology infrastructure and capabilities needed to build a retail CBDC system. Through this project, MAS will partner financial institutions to study how a retail CBDC can be implemented in Singapore to maximise its utility in society and complement existing payment rails. This can help lay the foundation for future decisions on retail CBDC issuance.

Mr 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."

PR Newswire is the Supporting Media Partner of Singapore FinTech Festival 2021.

Annex A – About the Global CBDC Challenge

The Global CBDC Challenge was launched 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.

Digital Currency Sandbox and Technologies by Technology Partners

The Global CBDC Challenge was supported by APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions, as well as the technology partners to provide a comprehensive test and development platform that includes the following:

  • APIX Core Banking API

  • Mastercard CBDC Test Platform

  • Mojaloop Real Time Payments Sandbox

  • Partior Digital Currency Sandbox

  • R3 Sandbox for Digital Currencies.

  • Hyperledger global open source community

  • AWS Platform and Promotional Credits.

Masterclass

The masterclasses, held during the eight-week Acceleration Phase, covered topics crucial to the development of a robust retail CBDC, allowing finalists to tap onto fresh perspectives and insights to enrich their final solutions. The topics covered were:

Topic

Speaker

Retail CBDCs: Global Landscape

Raphael Auer,

Principal Economist, Innovation and the Digital Economy, Bank for International Settlements

Interoperability and Co-existence of Retail CBDCs with the Existing Payments Ecosystems

Harish Natarajan,

Lead, Payment Systems Development Group, World Bank

Financial Health & Inclusion

Aioze Mitha,

Lead, UNDP/UNCDF Joint Digital Finance Program

Jaspreet Singh,

Global Lead, Financial Health and Innovations, UNCDF

AML/CFT risks and implications of Retail CBDCs

Radish Singh,

Partner, Financial Crime Compliance Leader, Deloitte Southeast Asia

Legal aspects of Retail CBDCs

Simon Gleeson,

Partner, Clifford Chance

The Implications of Retail CBDCs for Monetary Policy

Professor David Lee,

Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)


Annex B – Global CBDC Challenge Winners

Solution Name

Represented by

Participating Organisations

Solution Description

CBDCgo - digital currency, seamless acceptance

Consensys

ConsenSys and Visa

ConsenSys and Visa are partnering to build a Visa Retail CBDC Payment module supported by the ConsenSys Blockchain Infrastructure to demonstrate the concept of how a retail CBDC solution can cater for widespread and frictionless use.

The Atomic CBDC Solution

Criteo

Criteo SA, Secretarium Ltd. and Intel® Corporation

Using Secretarium's Secure-enclave Distributed Ledger Technology (SDLT) leveraging Intel SGX Chip for the secure enclaves, the solution aims to provide a high-performance DLT that is suited for highly secretive financial transactions, ultra large scale CBDCs. Compared to traditional DLT, SDLT allows for transactions to be committed and encrypted in memory on chain or in ledger.

G+D Filia

Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH

Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH

G+D Filia solution is a token-based digital currency resembling cash, enhanced with smart features and without the friction of physical money. It has been designed from the very beginning to allow for consecutive offline payments. Filia works both on smartphones and hardware wallets, can provide full privacy at the payment layer and supports programmable use cases. To achieve that, a different approach from the standard DLT platforms were taken. They do not record account balances or transaction metadata on a blockchain, but only the validity of a particular token together with its denomination.


SOURCE Monetary Authority of Singapore