HKMA Outlines Plans for Digital Currency


By Elaine Yu

HONG KONG–The Hong Kong Monetary Authority said it would start paving the way for a potential launch of an e-HKD in the future, in order to fully prepare the city for a central bank digital currency should the opportunity arise.

Howard Lee, deputy chief executive of the HKMA, said the specific use cases of a digital Hong Kong dollar are hard to pinpoint for now, and that there are a number of legal issues related to cybersecurity, privacy and the robustness of the system that require careful attention.

But he added that feedback from public consultations held by the city’s de facto central bank showed it could be conducive to developing a digital economy that is growing and evolving rapidly.

The HKMA wants to collaborate with banks, payment operators and other tech companies and provide a system for them to “come up with creative, imaginative use cases” to guide the regulator forward.

Colin Pou, executive director of HKMA’s financial infrastructure department, said many parts of the world are exploring how to make cross-border payments more efficient and less expensive, describing this as one possible area to develop.

The whole process, including legislative amendments, could take a few years, officials said.

Write to Elaine Yu at elaine.yu@wsj.com



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