Hong Kong Monetary Authority Forms Committee to Set Standards for Wholesale CBDC Interoperability

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced on Tuesday the establishment of a working committee aimed at setting industry standards for wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) interoperability. The committee, dubbed Project Ensemble Architecture Community, seeks to facilitate tokenized asset transactions and interbank settlement using wholesale CBDC (wCBDC).

Led by the HKMA, the committee will focus on developing mechanisms to support seamless interbank settlement of tokenized deposits through wCBDC for tokenized asset transactions. Comprising members from various sectors including regulators, banks, academia, and crypto firms, the committee aims to contribute to the development of the tokenization market in Hong Kong.

Project Ensemble, launched by the HKMA in March, aims to enhance Hong Kong’s financial industry by leveraging wholesale CBDC technology. Eddie Yue Wai-man, Chief Executive of the HKMA, emphasized Hong Kong’s commitment to innovation, inviting international collaboration to participate in tokenization initiatives.

In parallel with Project Ensemble, the HKMA has initiated phase 2 of its e-HKD pilot program, focusing on exploring programmability, tokenization, and atomic settlement of a digital Hong Kong dollar. The central bank aims to further explore the potential of CBDCs, building on the success of phase 1 which tested e-HKD for various retail purposes including programmable payments and offline transactions.

The establishment of the committee and the progression of the e-HKD pilot program signify Hong Kong’s dedication to embracing technological advancements in its financial ecosystem, reinforcing its position as a leader in the digital currency space.