Today U.S. blockchain firm ConsenSys announced it landed a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). The initiative involves a cross-border payment network with Thailand as the second phase of Project Inthanon-LionRock. ConsenSys will work alongside professional services firm PWC and FinTech Forms HK for the Hong Kong contribution.
Project Inthanon-LionRock was launched in 2019 by the HKMA and Bank of Thailand to explore the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in cross-border fund transfers. Inthanon is Thailand’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) CBDC initiative and LionRock is the Hong Kong equivalent.
The experiment involves circumventing the correspondent banking network, allowing direct payments between banks. The aim is to ‘build a proof-of-concept (PoC) where a THB-HKD cross-border corridor network is set up as a bridge between the Inthanon and the LionRock networks”. It seeks to overcome the existing challenges, such as cost, traceability, and regulatory compliance.
ConsenSys has experience in designing decentralized payment networks with central banks before. It was one of the firms to partner with the Monetary Authority of Singapore in Project Ubin, to explore the use of blockchain and DLT in payments and securities’ clearing and settlement. It also partnered with the South African Reserve Bank in Project Khokha, to help create a resilient, cost-effective blockchain-based interbank system. In Project Inthanon-Lionrock, ConsenSys will use its full-stack Ethereum products to test solutions with a focus on interoperability, scalability, and security.
“We are humbled to work on the development of Hong Kong’s Financial Infrastructure,” said Charles d’Haussy, Director of ConSensys Hong Kong.
Despite overseas developments, ConsenSys remained busy on home soil, recently acquiring J.P. Morgan’s Ethereum enterprise blockchain platform, Quorum. The protocol now forms part of ConsenSys’ full-stack Ethereum products.
There’s another Hong Kong connection on the Thai side of the project. Hong Kong-based CryptoBLK is the technology partner for Project Inthanon, which leverages R3’s Corda enterprise blockchain.