Daily Dash: Hong Kong Launches New Wholesale CBDC Project

May 8, 2024
Hong Kong has enlisted the support of Ant Financial, Microsoft and HSBC in a new wholesale CBDC forum, while Argentina has published its first API that allows businesses to automate access to central bank information.

Hong Kong Launches New Wholesale CBDC Project

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has announced the launch of the Project Ensemble Architecture Community, an initiative to encourage public-private sector collaboration in the development of Hong Kong’s tokenisation market.

The central bank said the forum aims to develop a set of industry standards to support interoperability among wholesale CBDC (wCBDC), tokenised money and tokenised assets. Its private sector members include Ant Financial, Microsoft and HSBC.

The community will make recommendations on specific topics, initially focusing on setting up a mechanism to support seamless interbank settlement of tokenised deposit via wCBDC for tokenised asset transactions.

The community will also assist in the design and implementation of the Project Ensemble Sandbox, which is expected to launch by mid-2024, to facilitate further research and testing of tokenisation use cases.

Argentina Launches New API To Tap Into Central Bank Information

The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) has developed and released a new application programming interface (API) for businesses to access information produced by the central bank.

The API is the first of its kind and can be used in website construction and in business applications and systems.

The central bank said the API will allow businesses to automate their retrieval of information from the regulator, thereby reducing costs and simplifying access for decision-makers.

“This is an important step towards open finance, a global trend that helps to improve the flow of information in the financial system,” said the central bank.

The BCRA said its next available APIs will cover exchange rates, bounced checks and data on debtors.

Federal Reserve Considers Extending Fedwire Service Hours

The US Federal Reserve has requested comments on its possible extension of its two large value payments services, Fedwire Funds Service and the National Settlement Service, to include weekends and holidays. 

Currently, the wholesale payment service operates from Monday until Friday, excluding holidays, and Federal Reserve is now consulting on this extension for the next 60 days. 

If it is implemented, payment service providers will be able to make use of the expanded operating days on a voluntary basis. 

European Banking Authority Starts Collecting Information On Money Launderers

The European Banking Authority has said that it will begin to collect information on natural persons this month on its anti-money laundering (AML) database, EuReCa. 

If a person is linked to financial crime, supervisors will now be able to report the information to EuReCa. 

Supervisors will also be able to report the name of a member of the management body or a key function holder in a financial institution, if necessary, because a lack of honesty or integrity can cause or lead to serious problems in a financial institution’s governance arrangements, business model or activities and ultimately, weaken the institution’s AML defences.

Since its launch on January 31, 2022, 41 authorities have made more than 1,400 reports to EuReCA.

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