The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the financial regulator of the special administrative region of China, has just announced it is exploring the possibility of issuing a retail central bank digital currency.
According to the “Fintech 2025 Strategy,” the de facto central bank is exploring the possibility of launching a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) similar to the e-CNY that China is working on.
The announcement states:
“In addition to the continued effort on wholesale CBDCs, the HKMA has been working with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre to research retail CBDCs and will begin a study on e-HKD to understand its use cases, benefits, and related risks.”
According to the authorities, the development of such currency will be a priority. It is worth noting that this is the very first time that Hong Kong talks about a retail CBDC, as until now it had only shown interest in the wholesale use cases for a central bank digital currency.
China has been developing its digital version of the yuan for quite some time now, and has even tested it in several regions of the country.