HKMA and Banque de France Forge Partnership for CBDC Creation

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The Banque de France (BDF) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together on wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and tokenization. This agreement builds on a series of joint projects between the two financial powerhouses, with the goal of improving cross-border transaction efficiency and interoperability between their digital currency infrastructures.

HKMA to Take Advantage of BDF’s DL3S

In a statement, the HKMA stressed the importance of this collaboration, which will take advantage of the BDF’s DL3S infrastructure and the HKMA’s Project Ensemble sandbox. Project Ensemble, which debuted in March, is focused on asset tokenization and the creation of a complementary CBDC infrastructure. 

This program has drawn a broad Architecture Community, including local banks, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), HashKey crypto exchange, Ant Digital Technologies, and Microsoft Hong Kong, to lead the research and testing phase, which is set to begin in mid-year.

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Collaboration Between BDF and HKMA

Denis Beau, First Deputy Governor of the BDF, stated, “The HKMA’s recent announcement of the beginning of Project Ensemble was quite opportune in initiating this cooperation. We are excited to further test our DL3S platform in this context.”

The collaboration between BDF and HKMA is not an isolated effort. Both institutes are heavily involved in numerous international projects. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently joined the European Central Bank’s second wave of distributed ledger technology (DLT) testing participants. This project focuses on the interoperability of blockchain modules for settling tokenized government bonds, demonstrating the global trend of incorporating DLT into financial systems.

BDF is an Observe in Project mBridge

Furthermore, the BDF is an observer in Project mBridge, one of the most major CBDC-related efforts to date, with the HKMA among its founding members. These coordinated activities demonstrate the dedication of both financial institutions to pioneering advances in digital currency and blockchain technology.

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Hong Kong’s journey to a CBDC, the e-HKD, began in 2021 and is presently in its second test phase. The region has been particularly engaged in researching CBDC applications. Notably, the retail e-HKD, which has a sophisticated structure, was evaluated in partnership with the BIS under Project Aurum. The HKMA has worked on a number of high-profile initiatives, such as developing tokenized “green” bonds with the BIS and the United Nations and real estate tokenization with Ripple and Visa.

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