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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is the most recent government body to embark on a central bank digital currency (CBDCs).

Singapore’s central bank has issued a “global challenge” for a retail CBDC solution lately. The “Global CBDC Challenge” aims to improve payment efficiency and financial inclusion by identifying creative retail ideas based on the CBDC solution.

The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development all support the MAS initiative. In addition, Amazon Web Services, Mastercard, Partier, R3, and the Mojaloop Foundation are among the tech companies that have endorsed the effort.

“Central banks worldwide are actively exploring the issuance of digital currencies and are confronted with a wide range of policy and technology challenges. Through the Global CBDC Challenge, MAS hopes to encourage innovator communities worldwide to develop and showcase solutions that can maximize the potential of CBDC to deliver efficiencies to payment services, improve financial inclusion, consistent with central banks’ core mandate of monetary stability,”

MAS Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said.

The problems at hand

Various financial startups and companies have been asked to submit substantial ideas capable of fine-tuning answers to 12 problem statements centered on three delicate areas: CBDC instrument, CBDC distribution, and CBDC infrastructure as part of the challenge.

Anonymity and privacy are among the 12 problem statements; a timely hot topic is given ongoing concerns about the CBDC’s ability to secure personal and consumer transaction data while allowing for the surveillance of possibly illegal operations.

Another issue is supporting interoperability in the absence of widely agreed standards.

There will be up to three winners, each winning S$50,000 ($37,000). Interested applicants must submit their applications by July 23, 2021.

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