Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC, is becoming a keen topic of interest among governments and central banks across the globe. To jump on to the digital coin bandwagon, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced in June its intention to introduce its own CBDC, which will be called e-HKD (electronic Hong Kong dollar). As reported by the South China Morning Post, the regulatory body is now looking to test the e-HKD in the coming months, to understand its various aspects before a mass roll-out.
Hong Kong’s CBDC test will be supported by the building of necessary digital infrastructure as well as the adoption of legislative amendments. The pilot programme is expected to begin sometime this year.
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While the e-HKD may not have an imminent use case, the pilot’s findings will help the HKMA pave the way for proper implementation and a launch in the future, as per HKMA deputy chief executive Howard Lee.
Lee further said that past consultations on the need and privacy details of e-HKD exposed concerns that Hong Kong is lagging behind several other countries when it comes to CBDC and that it should catch up on a trend that has clearly found global appeal.
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India, too, is looking to introduce its own CBDC, which could be called the Digital Rupee. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar confirmed in June that a CBDC will indeed be launched this year, however, the “process of introduction will be gradual” to ensure smooth implementation. The RBI first announced that it was working on its own digital currency in July last year.
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