The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has published a document outlining the status of the investigation into its Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (rCBDC) proposal and plans for its future development. This is the third document that the HKMA publishes on the e-HKD, as the CBDC proposal is called.
The proposed rCBDC would have a two-tier structure consisting of a wholesale interbank system and the retail user wallet system. No Hong Kong wholesale CBDC has been introduced yet, But research into it began in 2017, four years before the planning for the rCBDC began. The rCBDC would be disintermediated. The document states:
“Although it appears that e-HKD may not have an imminent role in today’s retail payments market, we believe prospective use cases for e-HKD may quickly emerge from the rapidly evolving, or even revolutionizing, economy. digital”.
One of the use cases being studied is “using the CBDC as an input and output instrument for [las finanzas descentralizadas, o] DeFi”.
Although no start date is noted in the document, local press reported that rCBDC testing could begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Most of the document was devoted to responses to previous documents, one of which was a request for comments on the technical aspects of the rCBDC, while the other dealt with politics and design. In total, the documents received 75 responses from stakeholders.
Most commenters on the technical side preferred privacy and cybersecurity to take precedence over efficiency. Opinions about performance and scalability were more mixed.
Cross-border and offline payments and interoperability with existing payment systems were the main concerns expressed in relation to the design. Particularly noted was interoperability with the mainland Chinese digital yuan, which is in the pilot phase.
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