The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has shortlisted 15 firms to help in retailing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The firms will participate in the Global CBDC challenge and help build the in-house retail CBDC.
According to an announcement on the MAS website, the participants include four companies from the United States, six from Singapore, and one each from Barbados, France, Switzerland, Australia, and Germany. Only three winners will emerge and work to build Singapore’s retail CBDC.
A few of the global finalists include Criteo (France), Bitt (Barbados), and Soramitsu (Switzerland), ANZ Banking Group Limited (Australia), and Giesecke+Devrient advance52 GmbH (Germany).
United States-based firms shortlisted are Consensys, cLabs Inc., IBM, and Extolabs LLC. While The local Singaporean consortiums shortlisted are IOG Singapore Pte Ltd, Citibank N.A., Standard Chartered Bank, and IDEMIA. Others include HSBC Bank Limited and HSBC Holdings Plc, and Xfers Pte Ltd.
The 15 finalists will be mentored by the MAS, and a cash prize of 50,000 SGB (about $37,000) complements the Singaporean initiative of building its retail CBDC. Also, the finalists will gain access to the APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions.
There have been positive crypto moves from the country’s authorities since the beginning of the year. MAS recently released an in-principle approval to Independent Reserve, an Australian crypto exchange.
The Singaporean Central Bank also announced cash prizes for digital currency ideas on June 28. It resulted in a challenge that had over 300 fintech firms from over 50 countries participating.