Singapore set to launch wholesale CBDC, local leader says

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Singapore is poised to launch its own central bank digital currency, or CBDC, said Sopnendu Mohanty, director of FinTech at Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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

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Instead, Singapore’s central bank is focused on developing a wholesale CBDC, which will be used to facilitate securities settlements and payments between financial institutions.

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

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

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To define Singapore as’ crypto-friendly ‘, said Mohanty,’ would be ‘very misleading’.

In fact, he said, the small city-state has a very clear regulatory framework in place to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

Singapore’s central bank still believes that while business activity has some risk, the technology itself is neutral.

“Allowing crypto to be an experimental construct in Singapore is what we’re looking for,” he explained.

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