Local institutions will utilize a live wholesale CBDC for settlements, as disclosed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
The Central Bank of Singapore has introduced a pilot program for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pegged to the Singapore dollar. The objective is to enable local institutions to conduct settlements using the CBDC.
Attending the Singapore Fintech Festival on November 16, MAS managing director Ravi Menon declared, “I am pleased to announce that MAS will pilot the ‘live’ issuance of wholesale CBDCs to instantaneously settle payments across commercial banks,”
Prior to this, the MAS had conducted CBDC issuance simulations exclusively in test environments. Menon stated that the central bank would shortly collaborate with Singaporean banks to test the viability of using CBDCs as domestic payment settlement assets.
Menon explained that banks will issue tokenized liabilities representing claims on their balance accounts as part of the test program. These tokenized liabilities could be utilized by retail clients to conduct business with merchants; the transactions would be settled via an automatic transmission of a wholesale CBDC.
“Clearing and settlement thus occur in a single step, on the same infrastructure, unlike the current system in which clearing and settlement take place on different systems, and settlement occurs with a lag,” he explained.
The primary users of wholesale CBDCs for payment settlement are central and commercial banks and other sizable financial institutions.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) added five more industry pilots to its Project Guardian financial infrastructure test program on November 15. These pilots are designed to evaluate a variety of asset tokenization use cases.
Due to the new partnerships, the initiative attained seventeen members, including prominent financial institutions such as BNY Mellon, HSBC, and Citigroup.
The MAS and the New York Federal Reserve released on May 1 the outcomes of Project Ubin, a six-year trial program that examined the utility of a CBDC in cross-border payments. The results indicated that CBDCs had the potential to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness.