Singapore, 11 November 2021 – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced the results of the Global Central Bank Digital Currency Challenge (Global CBDC Challenge) at the FinTech Awards Ceremony of the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). The Global CBDC Challenge has helped to identify and develop retail CBDC solutions that increase payment efficiencies, improve financial inclusion and support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy. The Challenge was held in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
After five months of intense competition among more than 300 submissions from over 50 countries, three winners were selected for their innovative solutions that best addressed the policy objectives of the challenge. The winners were selected from 15 finalists who pitched their solutions at a Demo Day to an international panel of judges. The three top winners each received a cash prize of S$50,000. Please refer to Annexes A and B respectively for details on the competition and winners. The top three teams are (in no order of merit):
CBDCgo provides integration and coexistence with existing systems, along with security and accessibility. Users can spend CBDCs without needing to change their payment or acceptance network. The Atomic CBDC solution is a digital currency platform that is safeguarded by hardware-based security. It supports anonymity and privacy for small transactions and offers traceability for large transactions for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism purposes. G+D Filia provides a means of payment that is inclusive and enables participation in the digital economy without a smartphone or a bank account. It enables the private sector to develop innovative solutions on an interoperable platform.
The panel of judges comprised thought leaders, policy experts, academia, and senior representatives from central banks and inter-governmental organisations:
- Benoit Coeure, Head of BIS Innovation Hub, Bank for International Settlements
- Filianingsih Hendarta, Assistant Governor, Head of Payment System Policy Department, Bank Indonesia
- Dr Marcelo Madureira Prates, BCB General Counsel’s Office Chief of Staff, Central Bank of Brazil
- Dr Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya
- Professor Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics, Harvard University
- Tobias Adrian, Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund
- Shri P. Vasudevan, Chief General Manager, Payments and Settlements, Reserve Bank of India
- Jean Denis Pesme, Global Director, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, World Bank.
The Global CBDC Challenge concludes the first phase of MAS’ study to explore possible retail CBDC solutions. In the next phase, MAS will embark on Project Orchid, which will build on the findings from this Challenge and aims to establish the technology infrastructure and capabilities needed to build a retail CBDC system. Through this project, MAS will partner financial institutions to study how a retail CBDC can be implemented in Singapore to maximise its utility in society and complement existing payment rails. This can help lay the foundation for future decisions on retail CBDC issuance.
Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “We congratulate the winners of the Global CBDC Challenge and all finalists who have demonstrated the potential of retail CBDC solutions to unlock new use cases with programmable money and create pathways to broader financial access. We would also like to thank the judges and partners of this global challenge for the joint collaboration to discover and develop innovative retail CBDC solutions.”
About the Global CBDC Challenge
The Global CBDC Challenge was launched in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.