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HKMA & PBoC Expand Digital Yuan CBDC Pilot Scope

HKMA & PBoC Expand Digital Yuan CBDC Pilot Scope

(30 January 2024 – Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and People’s Bank of China (PBoC) have thrown their weight behind a further expansion of use cases for the Digital Yuan (e-CNY) central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot.

An expansion of a cross-boundary e-CNY pilot in Hong Kong targeting commercial and retail customers in both markets was announced among six policy measures jointly by the HKMA and PBoC.

Major regional banks have participated and rolled out multiple services for the scheme. Bank of China (HK) executed an inaugural cross-border transaction worth US$3.4 million of a bulk commodity in Q4 2023 with e-CNY, signalling a market-first in corporate transactions using the CBDC.

The HKMA has not released a timeframe on the implementation of an e-HKD.

“More Hong Kong consumers would be able to open up their e-CNY wallets, facilitating their life and consumption in the mainland. Meanwhile, mainland visitors will also be able to spend e-CNY when they visit Hong Kong” stated HKMA CEO, Eddie Yue.

“They will promote further opening up of the Mainland’s financial market, strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre and offshore RMB business hub, and foster closer connections within the Greater Bay Area.” Yue added.

"There are a range of use cases of e-CNY across China and Hong Kong, including frictionless cross border transactions between China and Hong Kong providing instant settlement without additional intermediaries and a reduced time, cost, and point-of-failure" stated FIS Head of CBDC and Digital Currencies Product and Strategy, Julia Demidova to FinanceAsia.

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