Singapore Plans Issuance of CBDC for Wholesale Settlement 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced wholesale issuance as the next step for CBDCs pilots with commercial banks.

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  • Singapore’s MAS will be taking CBDC trials a step further.
  • The regulator has simulated the issuance of CBDCs for wholesale settlement.
  • Following this, the regulator made a special announcement today.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) continues to lay the foundation for the regulated and innovative use of digital currency (wholesale CBDCs, tokenized bank liabilities, and regulated stablecoins) in Singapore and beyond.

In furthering the vision of futuristic digital money transfers, MAS unveiled three initiatives on November 16, including a plan to issue a “live” central bank digital currency (CBDC) for wholesale settlement.

Taking CBDC Pilots a Step Further

In a speech delivered at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2023 on Thursday, MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon noted that wholesale CBDCs have demonstrated their potential in facilitating real-time cross-border payments and helping to “achieve atomic settlement.”

Noting that MAS had only simulated the issuance of wholesale CBDCs within test environments, Menon unveiled the new plan.  

We will take our experiments a step further next year,” Menon said, adding, “I am pleased to announce that MAS will pilot the “live” issuance of wholesale CBDCs to instantaneously settle payments across commercial banks.”

According to the plan, retail customers will leverage bank-issued tokenized liabilities in transactions with merchants who can credit the tokenized liabilities with their respective banks. Outstanding interbank obligations arising from the transactions will then be settled via an automatic transfer of wholesale CBDCs.

Menon noted that, unlike traditional settlements that “occur with a lag” across multiple systems, live CBDC-powered settlement happens in a single step on the same infrastructure.

Before concluding his speech, Menon hinted at an upcoming stablecoin regulation regime.

Stablecoins Regulation  

Menon stated that MAS is working on developing a rigorous regulatory framework that would ensure a sound stablecoin ecosystem in Singapore.

Stablecoins – if well regulated – can potentially play a useful role as digital money alongside CBDCs and tokenised bank liabilities,” Menon remarked.

Acknowledging that legislative amendments would take at least a year, Menon averred that MAS had taken “an interim approach” to recognize entities whose stablecoins can already demonstrate compliance with its regulatory framework.

These entities include StraitsX SGD Issuance, StraitsX USD Issuance, and Paxos Digital Singapore, all granted in-principle approval under the Payment Services Act.

Stay updated on Singapore’s asset tokenization initiative:
Singapore Drives Asset Tokenization Campaign with New Pilots

Read about Upbit’s preliminary approval for a license in Singapore:
Upbit Wins Preliminary Approval for MPI-License in Singapore

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

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Brian Danga

Brian Danga, a Kenyan crypto reporter, is dedicated to delivering breaking news and updates from the cryptocurrency world. With a background as a Web3 writer and project manager, he recognizes the importance of unbiased reporting. Holding an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi, Brian's analytical skills contribute to his accurate news reporting. His personal interests include cooking, watching documentaries, reading, and engaging in intellectual discussions.