Singapore’s Central Bank Is Laying the Foundations for a CBDC It Doesn’t Think Is Needed: Report

There is, however, no urgent need for a retail CBDC in the country, according to MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon.

Nov 9, 2021 at 10:26 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 9, 2021 at 3:54 p.m. UTC

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is laying the technological foundations for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in case it decides to issue one, Managing Director Ravi Menon said at the Singapore Fintech Festival.

  • However, the case for a retail CBDC is not urgent, Menon said, according to a report by the Straits Times on Tuesday.
  • Menon said the benefits of a digital Singaporean dollar from a financial inclusionary perspective are “not compelling.”
  • A desire to address the decline in cash usage is one of the major motivations by some of central banks with more advanced CBDC plans, such as China and Sweden, something Menon said does not apply in Singapore.
  • “A high proportion of Singaporeans have bank accounts, and electronic payments in Singapore are pervasive, highly efficient and competitive,” he said.
  • Nonetheless, Singapore’s central bank and private-sector companies are building the technological infrastructure necessary to launch a CBDC, should the island city-state decide to introduce one, Menon added. This is known as “Project Orchid.”

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.