The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced a joint research project with the Bank of Israel (BOI) and the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) Hong Kong Centre to study cybersecurity issues in retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

See related article: Hong Kong now exploring retail CBDC in upcoming Project Aurum

Fast facts

  • “Project Sela” will explore the protection of two-tiered retail CBDCs against cyber attacks, Hong Kong’s de facto central bank said in a press release. 
  • Hong Kong has been exploring a two-tier distribution model through Project Aurum — a structure where CBDCs are issued to the public through commercial banks and payment service providers.
  • Hong Kong kicked off e-HKD research last June, and has since released the CBDC’s technical and policy designs.
  • “Providing an efficient payment system that will increase competition in the payment market is one of the primary motivations we’ve identified for a possible issuance of a digital shekel — an Israeli CBDC,” BOI Deputy Governor Andrew Abir said.
  • Israel has been a technology source for mainland China’s CBDC, with fintech firm Bitmint joining the digital yuan project at the early stages of research and development.
  • Project Sela is expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to the press release.

See related article: Why a Hong Kong CBDC is coming — for institutions