Singapore central bank shortlists 15 companies for developing retail CBDC

Singapore central bank shortlists 15 companies for developing retail CBDC

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has recently shortlisted 15 participants for its “Global CBDC Challenge” for building an in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC) for retail banking.


An official announcement from the MAS shows that among finalists are included six companies from Singapore itself, four from the United States while one each are from Barbados, Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland. Among these, only three will be selected as final winners for deploying a retail CBDC in Singapore.


Following the Singapore central bank’s announcement of cash prizes for digital currency ideas on June 28, the challenge got colossal popularity and participation from over 300 fintech companies spread over 50 countries across the globe.


Australia’s ANZ Banking Group Limited of Australia, Germany’s Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH, Soramitsu of Switzerland, French Criteo and Bitt from Barbados are global finalists.


Shortlisted locally from Singapore consortiums include HSBC Bank Limited, IDEMIA, HSBC Holdings plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank N.A., HSBC Holdings plc, IOG Singapore Pte Ltd., and Xfers Pte. Ltd. United States-based companies include Consensys, IBM, cLabs Inc. and Extolabs LLC.


According to an older announcement of MAS, the cash prize for the initiative will be complemented with 50,000 Singapore dollars ($37,000), and the 15 finalists will be mentored by the MAS while getting access to the APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions.


The sandbox environ will consist of over 100 APIs relating to core banking payments, in addition to digital currency APIs from Mastercard. The finalists are scheduled to pitch their CBDC solutions at the Singaporean FinTech Festival between November 8 and November 12, 2021.


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