Blockchain for Banking News

Indonesia finalizing wholesale CBDC design, joining other ASEAN states

CBDC asean

During a briefing yesterday, Bank Indonesia’s Governor, Perry Warjiyo, said the central bank plans to release a conceptual design for a wholesale central bank digital currency CBDC this year, Bloomberg reported.

In designing the wholesale CBDC, which is restricted to usage by banks, it wants to ensure it is appropriate for cross border payments. The current focus is on the cybersecurity features of a digital rupiah.

It was confirmed a key motivation is to get ahead of the potential adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is the current President of the G20, which is hosting meetings this week. CBDC is the topic of the G20’s Techsprint hackathon this year, and it recently announced the finalists.

ASEAN countries embrace CBDC

ASEAN countries are some of the most active in cross border CBDC. Out of the ten members, only one – Brunei – hasn’t publicly mentioned a CBDC project. Two ASEAN members founded large cross border CBDC initiatives.

Thailand is exploring both a retail and wholesale CBDC. It initially launched a wholesale cross border blockchain initiative with Hong Kong – the Inthanon Lion Rock project – which later expanded to China and the UAE as part of the M-CBDC Bridge project for interbank payments. 

Another ASEAN country, Singapore, launched a separate multi-CBDC initiative, Project Dunbar, which includes ASEAN member Malaysia as well as South Africa and Australia. The Philippines is planning a wholesale CBDC this year and considering joining Project Dunbar.

In 2020 Cambodia launched its quasi-CBDC Project Bakong and has enabled cross border payments with Malaysia. Bakong’s technology partner Soramitsu is the most active in the region. It’s additionally working with ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos.

The final one is the Myanmar military junta which is planning a retail CBDC.

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