The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has named the 15 finalists for its competition to create Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solutions.
Finalists in the Global CBDC Challenge include financial institutions, FinTechs and technology solution providers. The 15 companies will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and international audiences later this year at the Singapore FinTech Festival.
There was a total of 300 submissions for the challenge, coming from over 50 countries – half of which came from Asia.
Participants were invited to apply and address 12 problem statements. These related to CBDC instrument, CBDC distribution and CBDC Infrastructure, and covered topics such as inclusivity, interoperability and programmability.
Solutions from the finalists include hardware wallets, digital identity and asset tokenisation solutions.
Among the finalists are payment system designer Bitt, FinTech software developer cLabs, blockchain solution builder Consensys and digital payment company Extolabs.
The remaining finalists are, ANZ Banking Group, Citibank N.A., Singapore Branch, Giesecke+Devrient advance52, HSBC Bank, IBM, Standard Chartered Bank, IDEMIA, Criteo, IOG Singapore, Soramitsu and Xfers.
The next stage of the challenge is the eight-week Acceleration Phase where the companies will develop and refine their solution. There will be masterclasses and networking sessions to join and access to the API exchange will also be given.
All finalists will present at the Singapore FinTech Festival and the top three solutions will be awarded with SGD 50,000 ($37,000). Regardless of this, all 15 finalists will be fast-tracked in their applications for grant funding of up to SGD 200,000 ($148,000) under the mas Financial Sector Technology and Innovation proof-of-concept scheme.
MAS chief FinTech officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “The Global CBDC Challenge aims to discover and develop retail CBDC solutions that will benefit the global community. We are encouraged by the strong interest from established financial institutions and emerging FinTechs alike.
“The quality of proposals received from the global innovation community was impressive. There was a healthy diversity of solution approaches across the different problem statement categories. We look forward to showcasing the shortlisted solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival.”
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