Singapore is exploring wholesale CBDC, local exec says

Singapore is exploring wholesale CBDC, local exec says

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The chief fintech officer at Singapore’s central bank told Cointelegraph about his thoughts about Singapore’s wholesale CBDC.

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Singapore is exploring wholesale central bank digital currency, or CBDC, said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer at Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Speaking on the subject during an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Mohanty pointed out that in Singapore, there is not much demand for a retail CBDC given that payment system infrastructure in the country already allows fast and cheap payments among individuals.

Instead, Singapore’s central bank is focused on the development of a wholesale CBDC, which would be used to facilitate settlements of securities and payments among financial institutions. 

“I don’t think we need to do any more experiments on wholesale CBDCs,” pointed out Mohanty. “Now, we should start thinking about going into production.”

According to Mohanty, a severe but clear regulatory framework coupled with an openness to innovation is what makes Singapore one of the most attractive places for cryptocurrency businesses in Southeast Asia. 

“Defining Singapore ‘crypto-friendly’,” said Mohanty, “would be “highly misleading.”

In fact, he pointed out that the small city-state has a very clear regulatory framework in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Singapore’s central bank still believes that while business activity poses certain risks, the technology itself is neutral.

“Allowing crypto to be an experimental construct in Singapore is what we are looking at,” he explained.

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