The Pilot Is In Cooperation With Giants Like Alipay, Ripple Labs, And Institutions Like The Industrial And Commercial Bank Of China

The launch of the e-HKD pilot program has been announced by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). This program "will take deep dives into potential use cases in six categories." The pilot opens the door for "the potential adoption of a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC)," according to the central banking organization.

Starting of the e-HKD Pilot Program

The "starting of the e-HKD Pilot Program" was announced by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Thursday. A total of 16 companies from the financial, payment, and technology sectors have been chosen to take part in the first round of e-HKD experiments for 2023, according to the central banking institution.

“The pilots will take deep dives into potential use cases in six categories, including full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions, and settlement of tokenized assets.” the HKMA added.

The monetary authority stated that it hopes to share important lessons with the general public at Hong Kong Fintech Week 2023 in November by conducting a series of pilots in close cooperation with various stakeholders to explore the use cases, implementation, and design challenges relevant to e-HKD.

Alipay Financial Services, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Fubon Bank, Ripple Labs, Standard Chartered Bank, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, Visa, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Mastercard Asia/Pacific, and Boston Consulting Group are among the businesses taking part in the test program.

As part of its "Fintech 2025" agenda, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued its policy position on the e-HKD in September of last year. There were two rounds of market consultation: one on important policy and design concerns, and the other on high-level technical design. Throughout the consultation period, 75 replies were received in total.

At the time, the HKMA stated that it will use a three-rail strategy. Rail 1 lays the technical and legal groundwork for the e-HKD, Rail 2 investigates use cases and runs pilots, and Rail 3 is concerned with releasing the e-HKD in light of the findings of the earlier phases.

According to the HKMA's three-rail strategy, the e-HKD Pilot Programme is an important part of Rail 2 and will help pave the way for the potential future adoption of e-HKD, a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC).

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