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Hong Kong, BIS explore CBDC-backed stablecoins in retail prototype

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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre has completed its central bank digital currency (CBDC) study, Project Aurum, which examined the feasibility of intermediated CBDCs and CBDC-backed stablecoins.

See related article: Hong Kong seeks suitable use case to sell public on retail CBDC: report

Fast facts

  • The BIS said in a report released on Friday that the Aurum prototype provides a solid basis for furthering the exploration and testing of Hong Kong’s retail CBDC, the e-HKD.
  • “Bringing CBDC-backed stablecoins to life has never been done before and we therefore felt that doing so may supplement the growing body of research on private sector stablecoins,” the BIS wrote in the report.
  • The BIS study was conducted in collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, and a prototype was completed in July, the BIS said.
  • In the prototype, the BIS said that a CBDC-backed stablecoin can only be issued by issuing banks, and the banks can then use it to pay other banks or end users.
  • The HKMA said in September that it had carried out two rounds of market consultation on technical design and key policy.
  • Also in September, Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the HKMA, shared plans for a series of e-HKD trials in the fourth quarter this year with banks and technology firms.

See related article: Hong Kong needs at least two years to build wholesale CBDC: HKMA 



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