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Singapore Central Bank, World Bank, IMF partner to launch CBDC competition

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Singapore Central Bank, World Bank, IMF partner to launch CBDC contest
  • Growing numbers of countries exploring central bank digital currency

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced its decision to launch a competition for fintech firms and global financial institutions to formulate central bank digital currency design for retail use.

The Singapore central bank partners the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to unveil the initiative.

Announcing the competition via an official blog post, the Monetary Authority of Singapore noted that the competition aims to discover new retail CBDC solutions that would improve payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.

The contest is open until July 23 to fintech firms and financial institutions across the globe and participants will tackle the 12 “problem statements” that many countries mentioned as obstacles to rolling out their own CBDCS.

Participants stand a chance of winning 50,000 Singapore dollars ($37,000) and 15 finalists will receive mentorship and access to the APIX Digital Currency Sandbox to encourage timely development of digital currency solutions.

It is also worth noting that the competition is backed by major players in the Blockchain space, including MasterCard, Amazon Web Services, R3, Hyperledger, among several others.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Singapore central bank chief fintech officer, in a statement, noted that the contest was launched to assist Central banks globally who are exploring the issuance of digital currencies and are confronted with a wide range of policy and technology challenges.

Growing numbers of central banks exploring digital currency

It is worth noting that the number of countries exploring digital currency has recently skyrocketed due to the growing momentum in the cryptocurrency space. According to reports, over 80 percent of countries are exploring use cases around CBDCs.

While the Bahamas hold the record as the first country to launch a digital currency ( the sand dollar), several countries are also attempting to unveil theirs. China has been actively working on launching a digital yuan in the country.

The Bank of England has also disclosed that it is looking into the likelihood of launching a digital pound. While the central banks of France and Switzerland also noted that they are conducting experiments (Project Jura) into using wholesale CBDCs for cross-border settlement.

The European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve are also doing their research. Also, the president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has instructed the country’s apex bank to prepare for the broader adoption of cryptocurrency worldwide.

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