Yesterday the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and FintechHK announced the six winners of their Global Fast Track CBDC competition. The companies now have the opportunity to work with the HKMA on central bank digital currency (CBDC) research projects.
The winners are:
- ARTA TechFin Corporation Limited (Best technology)
- Bank of China (Hong Kong) (Best use case)
- Giesecke+Devrient (G+D Filia) (Best technology)
- Hang Seng Bank (Best use case)
- HSBC (Best ecosystem)
- Visa (Best ecosystem)
The competition was looking for solutions covering a broad range of topics, including wholesale CBDC, retail CBDC, programmable money, interoperability, forex and liquidity management, and more.
Hang Seng’s use case winner involved a streamlined payment platform for consumers, merchants and large corporates targeting a better customer experience to encourage mass adoption of the eHKD.
G+D Filia provides a token-based retail CBDC, which is designed to support offline payments and a variety of devices ranging from smartphones to smart cards and other hardware wallets.
Repeat CBDC winners
Visa and G+D were also winners at last year’s Global CBDC Challenge run by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The third competition winner was Criteo, who signed a dozen central bank CBDC deals following its Singapore win. Criteo’s CBDC group was subsequently sold to Bitt, and the joint team was one of the winners of a third global CBDC competition, the G20 Techsprint.
Meanwhile, the HKMA recently shared the results of its CBDC prototypes which included both an bank-intermediated CBDC and a CBDC-backed stablecoin. In September, it transitioned from the research to the development phase and is working on the foundational infrastructure while trialing use cases.
Apart from retail CBDC, it is also a participant in the wholesale MBridge multi-CBDC project, which uses CBDCs for cross border payments. This involves the central banks of China, the UAE and Thailand, along with the BIS Innovation Hub.