Taiwan central bank completes wholesale CBDC study, plans next steps

Taiwan’s central bank has completed a feasibility study of wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC) and is continuing to consider its introduction. The central bank is seeking feedback from businesses and academics and will continue to work on platform design, Deputy Governor Mei-lie Chu said on Dec. 7. 

In a lengthy speech at an event for bankers, Chu outlined what she called Banking 4.0, or “services embedded in customers’ daily lives,” including the integration of artificial intelligence and advanced mobile and digital technology into banking. She devoted about half of her presentation to CBDC.

Chu referred to Bank for International Settlements research and said she saw the advantages of CBDCs and tokenization of real-world assets. Furthermore:

“A central bank currency with clearing finality can serve as the operational basis for tokenization.”

Chu mentioned unified ledger technology in particular. A unified ledger, as the name implies, uses a single ledger in a “partitioned data environment” to achieve interoperability among systems.

Related: Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan awards first securitized token license

According to the website CBDC Tracker, Taiwan began CBDC research in 2020. It is further along in its development of a retail CBDC and has already tested it in a pilot project with consumers and five commercial banks.

Bank disintermediation and interoperability with other payment systems were outstanding issues in Taiwan’s CBDC research, Chu said. The central bank is taking a “prudent” approach to further development of a CBDC with no timeline for a decision, Chu added.

In addition, Taiwan’s Fubon Bank has participated with Ripple and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in a reverse mortgage pilot project using Hong Kong’s e-HKD CBDC. It has also integrated China’s digital yuan, also known as the e-CNY, into its platform.

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