Monetary Authority of Singapore Chooses 15 Finalists for Global CBDC Challenge

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank and financial regulator, revealed on August 30, 2021 that 15 finalists were selected for the international competition to create a retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solution (Global CBDC Challenge).

The finalists include financial institutions, Fintech firms, and technology solution providers. They will now be progressing to the Acceleration Phase of the Global CBDC Challenge, before they “pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and an international audience at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival,” according to a release.

The Global CBDC Challenge was able to attract more than 300 submissions from over 50 nations, with over half of the submissions coming from Asia. Participants were invited to “address 12 problem statements” relating to:

(i) CBDC Instrument; (ii) CBDC Distribution; and (iii) CBDC Infrastructure; “covering topics such as inclusivity, interoperability and programmability.”

The announcement also mentioned that the proposals from the finalists “sought to address multiple problem statements through a variety of technology approaches including hardware wallets, digital identity and asset tokenization solutions.”

The release further noted that the finalists were chosen by an independent panel of judges “comprising policy and technical experts, academia and senior representatives from some of the intergovernmental organization partners.”

Here’s the List of Finalists shared by the MAS:

  • ANZ Banking Group Limited
  • Bitt
  • Citibank N.A., Singapore Branch
  • 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
  • Xfers Pte. Ltd.

The finalists will next “go through an eight-week Acceleration Phase, supported by Tribe Accelerator, where they will develop and refine their solutions,” the announcement revealed.

Finalists will take part in masterclasses and networking sessions with industry experts and be provided access to the API Exchange (APIX) Digital Currency Sandbox “for rapid prototyping of their digital currency solutions.”

During the Global CBDC Challenge’s Demo Day as part of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2021, the finalists will “present their innovations and the top three will win S$50,000 in prize money each.” All 15 finalists will be “fast-tracked in their applications for grant funding of up to S$200,000, under the MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof-of-Concept Scheme,” the release noted.

The solutions of the finalists and key insights from the other submissions will be “featured in a post-event report,” the update confirmed.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, MAS, remarked:

“The Global CBDC Challenge aims to discover and develop retail CBDC solutions that will benefit the global community. We are encouraged by the strong interest from established financial institutions and emerging FinTechs alike. 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.”

For more details on this announcement, check here.

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