Central Bank Digital Currency

Technological advances and the rapid digitalisation of the economy are unlocking new possibilities for the future of money and payments, one of which is Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Overview

As a central bank, MAS is tasked with ensuring sound money and efficient payments. We recognise that recent innovations have the potential to address some of the longstanding and emerging challenges in payments, including slow, opaque and expensive cross-border payments. Since 2016, MAS has been actively researching and experimenting with CBDCs in partnership with the industry, international organisations and other central banks, to better understand the opportunities and risks around them. 

Our explorations into new forms of money and new ways payments could work complements, our ongoing developmental and regulatory efforts to enhance electronic payments in Singapore. 

 

What are CBDCs?

CBDCs are a digital form of central bank money. There are two main variants of CBDCs:

  • Wholesale CBDCs, which are solely for use by a select group of financial institutions to settle large-value transactions among themselves and the central bank, just like reserves today.
  • Retail CBDCs, which are for use by the general public for payments. These are the digital counterpart to the notes and coins that central banks issue today.

CBDC Issuance

The MAS has announced plans for live wholesale CBDC issuance through pilots. The first pilot focuses on domestic interbank settlement, with wholesale CBDC as the settlement asset and value-stabilising backing to ensure fungibility of digital Singapore dollar. Future pilots include cross-border securities settlement with wholesale CBDCs as the settlement asset.

Key Speeches and Releases

  1. "MAS Propose Standards for Digital Money" - MAS published a whitepaper proposing a common protocol to specify conditions for the use of digital money such as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), tokenised bank deposits, and stablecoins on a distributed ledger on 22 June 2023.
  2. "FinTech in its Element: Water, Metal, Fire, Wood, Earth" - Speech by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2022 on 3 November 2022

  3. "Decentralised Finance and the Future of Money" - Panel Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Andrew Crockett Memorial Lecture by Mark Carney via Video Conference on 28 June 2021  

  4. “Innovation in Central Banking – Seizing Opportunities, Securing Our Future” - Remarks by Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development), Monetary Authority of Singapore, at BIS Innovation Summit on 25 March 2021   

What's New