Singapore Merlion

Singapore shortlists 15 companies to help build retail CBDC

Singapore is often referred to as the hub of digital currency innovations, one of such innovations is the Global Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) challenge.

The 15 finalists of the CBDC challenge include one company each from Barbados, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and France. There are also four companies from the United States and six companies from Singapore.

The top three finalists of the retail CBDC challenge get $50,000 each and the chance to present the CBDC design at the Singapore FinTech Festival, scheduled to take place on November 8-12. All of the 15 finalists receive a $200,000 grant fund application each.

The Global CBDC challenge was launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It’s geared towards discovering and developing retail central bank-backed digital currency solutions that will benefit the world.

The 15 finalists for the Global CBDC challenge were selected from over 300 submissions from 50 countries, according to the central bank. These 15 financial institutions, FinTech, and technology companies made it to the Acceleration phase. This phase involves masterclasses that will be held weekly over the next eight weeks. They will cover topics crucial to the development of a robust retail CBDC, allowing finalists to tap into fresh perspectives and insights to enrich their final solutions.

Among the finalists are ANZ Banking Group Limited; Bitt; the Singapore branch of Citibank N.A.; cLabs, Inc.; Consensys; Extolabs LLC; Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH; HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited and HSBC Holdings plc; IBM; IDEMIA; Criteo; IOG Singapore Pte Ltd; Soramitsu; Standard Chartered Bank; and Xfers Pte. Ltd.

These finalists will have weekly masterclasses and access to the API Exchange (APIX)’s digital currency sandbox “for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions.” The sandbox involves over 100 APIs affiliated with payments and core banking, they will also have access to digital currency APIs from Mastercard.

MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “The quality of proposals received from the global innovation community was impressive. There was a healthy diversity of solution approaches across the different problem statement categories. We look forward to showcasing the shortlisted solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival.”

To learn more about central bank digital currencies and some of the design decisions that need to be considered when creating and launching it, read nChain’s CBDC playbook.

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