The city’s de facto central bank Wednesday sought public consultations on the e-HKD, as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) chief expressed concerns on a retail digital Hong Kong dollar intensifying competition in the retail payments space.

See related article: Hong Kong to press ahead with digital dollar, e-CNY plans

Fast facts

  • Public acceptance of e-HKD might be hard if it does not address specific payment pain points, Eddie Yue, the chief of HKMA, said.
  • Yue also raised potential financing challenges posed by technical restrictions and limitations in cash to e-HKD on-ramps.
  • The HKMA is also considering privacy aspects related to digital currencies and whether programmable money can spark hacks and public distrust, Yue added.
  • Hong Kong has not decided on the pursuit of a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC), Yue said, but has sought public comments through May 27. 
  • Last October, Hong Kong released a white paper to explore the feasibility of e-HKD.
  • Hong Kong, however, is partaking in an inter-government cross-border CBDC project with three other central banks and the Bank of International Settlements, known as the Multiple CBDC Bridge (mBridge)

See related article: China’s PBOC wants to link e-CNY with Hong Kong’s Faster Payment System