The adoption of fintech has been remarkable. Companies all over the globe are excited to get involved within the digitising sector, with many especially keeping an eye on the development of digital assets. Both local and global firms in Hong Kong have now been given the opportunity to partner with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to boost the growth and adoption of fintech in Asia and beyond, following an announcement from the central banking institution and Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) where it was announced the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) track would be added to the Global Fast Track 2022.
The CBDC track invites banks, fintechs and tech firms to submit innovative solutions in eight focus areas, including retail CBDC (rCBDC) adoption, wholesale CBDC (wCBDC) adoption, programmable money, interoperability, privacy, cybersecurity, foreign exchange and liquidity management, and offline payments.
Shortlisted applicants will then enter a pitching session exclusive for the track and compete for three awards, namely the Best Use Case Award, Best Technology Award, and Best Ecosystem Award. All qualified candidates may also have the opportunities to work with the HKMA on research projects and pilots to foster the future growth of the CBDC ecosystem.
In recent years, Hong Kong has been leading in international collaborations and research on CBDC, with the development of wCBDC being well recognised by the market and ranked as one of the most mature of its kind in the world. The HKMA has been actively guiding the exploration of both wCBDC and rCBDC. The launch of the CBDC track shows that the HKMA is committed to facilitating the sector’s growth, promoting industry engagement, and leveraging new technologies to enhance the financial system.
“CBDC exploration has been high on the agenda of central banks around the world and has gained reasonable traction in recent years. As Hong Kong’s central banking institution, we endeavour to future-proof Hong Kong in terms of CBDC readiness on both wholesale and retail fronts as part of our ‘Fintech 2025’ strategy. This year, we are thrilled to partner with InvestHK and introduce a new CBDC track to the Global Fast Track. We are confident that this new CBDC track will yield fruitful outcomes and bring valuable insights, adding to the wealth of knowledge on CBDC and contributing to an enhanced CBDC ecosystem,” said Nelson Chow, chief fintech officer of the HKMA.
“We are truly honoured and excited to be working with the HKMA to launch the CBDC track. By connecting private sector leaders directly with the regulator, the track further enables Global Fast Track 2022 to provide comprehensive, one-stop support to innovators around the world, while strengthening Hong Kong’s status as a premier international fintech hub. Following last year’s success, we believe the enriched programme will further facilitate fintech development in the city and beyond,” said Charles Ng, associate director-general of investment promotion at InvestHK.
InvestHK has unveiled the full list of corporate, investor, and service champions for this year’s Global Fast Track. In addition, a wide range of exciting partnering programmes, including the Visa Fintech Fast Track and incubator programmes run by Cyberport and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, have also been announced.
Global Fast Track is a one-stop programme with a business matching portal, pitching competition, and mentoring sessions which connect global fintech companies with a diverse range of Asian Corporate, Investor and Service Champions to explore potential business partnerships and investments. The Global Fast Track is organised by InvestHK and co-organised by Finnovasia.