Ripple Labs has launched a new payment platform for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Hong Kong. The San Francisco-based payment protocol and exchange network will partner with Fubon Bank, a Hong Kong unit of Taiwan’s Fubon Financial Holding Co. as part of Hong Kong’s new e-HKD (electric Hong Kong dollar) pilot program. The pilot program brings together various industry players to explore e-HKD use cases and implementation issues. The Ripple-Fubon Bank tie-up will offer solutions for real estate asset tokenization and equity releases using the CBDC.

See related article: Hong Kong’s e-HKD pilot puts the world on notice

Fast facts

  • Ripple announced in a press release Thursday that its new CBDC platform can facilitate central banks, governments and financial institutions to issue their own CBDCs and manage the digital currency’s full life cycle. This will include both transactions and distribution.
  • As part of the CBDC pilot program launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) the same day, Ripple said it will work with Fubon Bank in Hong Kong to test real estate asset tokenization as a potential use case for the e-HKD.
  • “It’s a huge honor for Ripple to be one of the select few organizations participating in the HKMA’s e-HKD Pilot Programme,” said James Wallis, Ripple’s Vice President of Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs, in the statement. “We now have the opportunity to demonstrate how real estate asset tokenization could be brought to the citizens of Hong Kong.”
  • The fully integrated solution will be an “industry-first use case demonstrating the power of leveraging a CBDC for real estate equity asset release,” he added.
  • Ripple said that, through the program, commercial banks in Hong Kong will benefit from an ability to offer streamlined loan services and more flexible payments.
  • In its announcement Thursday, the HKMA said it will use the pilot to explore e-HKD use cases in six categories: full-fledged payments, programmable payments, offline payments, tokenized deposits, settlement of Web3 transactions and settlement of tokenized assets.
  • A total of 16 banks, payment firms and blockchain companies will participate in the pilot program to test those use cases. These include state-owned Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, alongside HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Visa, Mastercard and Ant Group’s Alipay.

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