The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de-facto central bank, Tuesday said it concluded its market consultations on technical and policy grounds towards the city’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), estimating at least two to three years to build the wholesale system. 

See related article: Hong Kong flirts with e-HKD as it talks of marriage with e-CNY

Fast facts

  • A wholesale CBDC is an interbank settlement layer, which lays the foundation for the future launch of a retail CBDC, known as the e-HKD in Hong Kong.
  • The HKMA is expected to release a work plan for the wholesale layer in about nine months. 
  • On the legal front, the HKMA said it will be working with the government to enact required amendments, but has not specified a target finalization date.
  • The wholesale CBDC is set to lay the foundation for the HKMA’s research in e-HKD use cases, including a digital wallet, cybersecurity, tokenized securities settlement and potential integration to decentralized finance. 

See related article: A Hong Kong CBDC is coming — for institutions 

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