On Thursday, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) commenced the pilot of the region’s e-HKD project. In a special report by the regulator, it confirmed the selection of at least 16 companies in the financial and payment sectors as participants in the pilot. It is worthy of note that this pilot will be the first round of the experiments for the CDBC project.
According to the announcement, the pilot will focu on the potential use cases of the e-HKD, particularly in six forms. These include programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, web3 transaction settlements, tokenized assets settlements and fully-fledged payments.
The Hong Kong regulator described its e-HKD pilot project as a vital part of Rail 2 in line with its strategy to foster the execution of a retail CBDC project in the future. HKMA aims to leverage the pilot programme in executing numerous pilots in partnership with necessary stakeholders in the region. Through this, it wants to assess the use cases and address the issues relating to the implementation and design of the CBDC project. According to the agency, it will bank on the insights derived from the pilot to advance and redefine the design of e-HKD.
Representatives of selected firms attend e-HKD pilot event
Meanwhile, the unveiling of the e-HKD pilot was graced by representatives of the 16 selected companies. These representatives leveraged the event to explain the major highlights of their recommended use cases. Meanwhile, HKMA looks to engage these firms in the next few months so as to execute the pilot. The agency understands that the output of the pilot might change over time. By virtue of this, it aims to consistently monitor its progress.
Worth mentioning that the regulator will share the insights from the pilot with the public during the FinTech Week. Afterward, it will also consider initiating another rounds of pilots in the distant future. More so, HKMA wants to establish its CBDC Expert Group in a bid to foster the relationship between government, industry and the academia on CBDC research.
According to the announcement, the group will entail renowned academicians from universities in the region who can significantly contribute valuable knowledge to advancing Hong Kong’s future efforts on the technicalities of e-HKD. These technicalities cover areas like privacy protection, cybersecurity, compatibility and many more.