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Global CBDC Challenge

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#globalcbdcchallenge #rcbdc #centralbankdigitalcurrency

  • Start Registration

  • Submit Proposals

  • Shortlist Finalists

  • Submit Solutions

  • Announce Winners

All timings are as per (GMT +8:00) Singapore, Beijing, Perth, Hong Kong
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About the Challenge

A retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) built for next-generation financial rails has the potential to increase payment efficiencies, improve financial inclusion and support the broader digitalisation drive in the economy. The Global CBDC Challenge launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Development Programme, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), seeks innovative retail CBDC solutions to enhance payment efficiencies and promote financial inclusion.

Up to 15 finalists will be selected to network with global leaders / industry experts and be given access to the APIX Digital Currency Sandbox for rapid prototyping of digital currency solutions. The Sandbox will offer a comprehensive test and development platform that includes core-banking APIs from APIX, payment APIs from Mojaloop Foundation, digital currency APIs from Mastercard, Partior, and R3, and more than 100 APIs provided via the APIX marketplace. Participants may also engage the Hyperledger global open source developer community for support and collaboration technologies. Additionally, Amazon Web Services will support finalists by providing access to the AWS platform and AWS promotional credits. [Note: These Technology Partners have made their technologies available for finalists and provided suggestions to accelerate the development of your solution. However, utilising the Technology Partners’ provided sandbox or technology is not mandatory. These technology partners are independent of the judging process.]

Finalists of the Challenge will have the chance to pitch their solutions to the global audience at the Demo Day to be held at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival in November 2021. Up to three winners will be selected to receive S$150,000 in cash prizes.


Participants are required to submit a proposal describing your solution in detail and explaining how your solution can solve the selected problem statements(s). Utilising the Technology Partners’ provided sandbox or technology is not mandatory. You can opt to submit your proposal entirely using your own solution or a permutation of technologies provided by the technology partners.

The Global CBDC Challenge is open to everyone and anyone around the world. We welcome submissions from individuals or teams (teams may comprise of members from different organisations). Participants are strongly encouraged to cover more than one problem statement in their submissions. Participants who attempt to discuss how the remaining problem statements could also be approached would be considered favourably.

Judging Criteria

Experience and Skills:

  1. Team experience and track record in implementing similar solutions
  2. Team has multi-discipline skillsets across different areas that are proposed in the solution


  1. Quality of the solution with proper structure
  2. Understanding of technology, policy and economics behind the problem statement
  3. Market Analysis and Insights that support the Content

Problem Statements Approach

  1. Number of Problem Statements that the proposed solution is able to solve
  2. How well the solution address the 3 Categories (Instrument, Distribution and Infrastructure) in tandem

Execution Plan

  1. Articulation of the Technology stack that the proposed solution will utilise
  2. Quality of the Execution Plan (Task and Timeline) of the proposed solution
  3. Feasibility of the Proposed plan

Problem Statements

The Global CBDC Challenge seeks to match innovative solutions with public policy questions across the following problem statement categories:

(1) Instrument
To improve and expand the accessibility and utility of digital payments

(2) Distribution
To mitigate risks associated with payment transfers and market infrastructure

(3) Infrastructure
Provision of a viable CBDC infrastructure that is low-cost, efficient and robust and provides for trusted settlement of payment transactions among participants.

Click <here> to download the full problem statement brochure.
Click <here> to find out about the CBDC sandboxes and API documentation for your proposal / solutioning.

Problem Statement #01

New Functionalities vs Inclusivity
Can a retail CBDC system be embedded with additional functionalities beyond a basic transfer of value without requiring users to use smartphones (or other expensive/complex hardware)?

Problem Statement #02

Security vs Accessibility
Can the design of a retail CBDC system be highly secure for users (e.g. one that prevents unauthorised uses and illicit transactions) without compromising the ease of use? Would such a system be able to cater to the varied needs of the elderly, minors, and those with disabilities?

Problem Statement #03

Availability vs Risk of Disputes
Can offline transactions be enabled in areas with no or limited internet connectivity? What safeguards against double-spending and counterfeiting can be embedded to minimise disputes related to offline payments?

Problem Statement #04

Recoverability vs Anonymity
In the event of theft, damage or loss of a wallet, card or instrument, can a retail CBDC system adequately trace transactions, limit the loss or support the recovery of lost funds without compromising user identity?

Problem Statement #05

Widespread Frictionless Use vs Control
Are there technological features that can be incorporated into a retail CBDC solution to minimise the risk of significant and abrupt outflows from bank deposits to the CBDC, while ensuring that the use of the CBDC is as seamless as possible?

Problem Statement #06

Personal Data Protection vs System Integrity
Can the retail CBDC solution protect personal and consumer transactions data, while allowing for monitoring, detection and prevention of illicit activities on the network (e.g. money laundering /terrorism financing, fraud, scams and corruption)?

Problem Statement #07

Expanding Access to Financial Services vs Guarding against Data Monopolies
How can the design of a retail CBDC solution allow participating firms to harness payment data to enable the offering, customising, or improving the pricing of financial services (e.g. credit, insurance) to users, while avoiding the undesirable effects of data monopolies on consumer welfare over time? How might users retain control over use of their data?

Problem Statement #08

Coexistence vs Integration Complexity
How can a retail CBDC solution allow financial institutions to distribute CBDCs to the end user in a manner that leverages existing national payment rails such as a country’s payment systems, while keeping participation cost competitive at minimal disruption?

Problem Statement #09

Decentralisation vs Accountability
How can a retail CBDC infrastructure be made more resilient to single points of failure? Can concentration risks be minimised through decentralisation? How can we develop a safe, stable and sustainable governance model for such decentralised infrastructure with clear lines of responsibility and accountability?

Problem Statement #10

Extensibility vs Operational Resilience
Can a retail CBDC infrastructure be flexible yet robust, allowing for computationally intensive use of programmable functions and addition of new capabilities without incurring additional overheads in terms of cost, operational performance or introducing system vulnerabilities?

Problem Statement #11

Privacy vs Performance
Can a retail CBDC infrastructure incorporate privacy preserving capabilities while remaining high performing, with fast response time, low latency and scalability to support large deployment?

Problem Statement #12

Interoperability vs Standardisation
How can interoperability be achieved across different instruments of digital money and across different technologies without a commonly accepted standard?


Win up to S$150,000 in Cash Prizes!

Finalists and winning teams will get:

S$150,000 in Cash Prizes

Up to 3 winners will each receive cash prizes worth S$50,000

Up to S$200,000 in Proof-of-Concept Grant

Finalists will be fast-tracked to receive up to S$200,000 in MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof-of-Concept grant

Exclusive SFF Speaking Opportunities

Finalists will be offered a speaking opportunity at the Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF). Finalists will also have exclusive access to network with industry experts and global leaders.


The Global CBDC Challenge is open to all FinTech companies, financial institutions and solution providers globally with solutions that can address any of the published problem statements.


Is there any geographical restriction on who can participate?

The physical location of the participant does not matter. We welcome solutions from all jurisdictions and will work with the participants to facilitate an effective presentation of the solution during the judging phase.

Can I submit more than 1 proposal to different problem statements?

Yes, you may submit more than 1 proposal/submission. However, each proposal should address 1 main problem statement.

What is the judging process and when can I know if I am selected?

[Round 1] Participants are to submit a proposal describing your solution in detail, outlining the plan to leverage any of the sandbox/APIs in APIX (if any), and explaining how your solution can solve the selected problem statement(s). While you are welcomed to start building your proposed solution, you will not be required to demonstrate it at this stage, and submissions for Round 1 will be judged based on the proposal. Technology Partners are not part of the judging panel. Up to 15 finalist teams will be selected and informed by the end of August. [Round 2] Finalists will then participate in an 8-week acceleration phase consisting of exclusive networking sessions with global leaders, while in parallel building their solution. At the end of the acceleration phase, finalists will be required to pitch and demonstrate their solutions at Singapore FinTech Festival where up to 3 teams will be crowned as the Winners. For both rounds of judging, scoring would be done by an independent panel of judges comprising policy, academia, and technical experts. Submissions that reflect elements of a multi-disciplinary approach with the relevant experience and expertise will rank highly.

What would the 8-weeks Acceleration Phase cover?

Up to 15 finalist teams would be selected to participate in an 8-weeks Acceleration Phase for exclusive networking opportunities with industry leaders and masterclasses / webinars hosted by industry experts.

Must any proposals / solutions developed for the Global CBDC Challenge be based off blockchain technology?

We are open to solutions built on blockchains—including their permission-less public variants—as well as other alternative non-blockchain based technologies. Participants are encouraged to propose solutions that best address the problem statements. We also welcome proposals / solutions developed to be contributed to the open source community. However, this remains the choice of the participants and will not affect the assessment of the submission.

What are the available CBDC sandboxes? Is it mandatory to leverage them for our proposal / solution submission?

In support of the competition, Technology Partners have made available CBDC sandboxes and technologies. Participating teams can leverage these technologies in their proposal submission and in the design and development of their prototypes. However, this is optional and not mandatory. Participants are encouraged to propose solutions that best address the problem statements.

What can I do if I am unable to access the Global CBDC Challenge Info Page (on Notion) to find out more about the CBDC sandboxes and API documentation?

If the error is because it is blocked by your corporate firewall, make a request to your IT department to whitelist the website so that you can access it. Alternatively, use a personal device without firewall restrictions to access the page.

Can I work with a partner and submit a joint proposal?

We welcome you to collaborate and submit a joint proposal leveraging strengths and capabilities from different parties. Under the team details, do share more details so that the evaluators know which parties are involved.

Is the Challenge restricted only to registered companies?

We welcome submissions from individuals or teams comprising of members from different organisations. There are no restrictions on team size to participate in this challenge.

Do I need to have a 
fully-functioning solution before 
I submit a proposal?

Proposal submissions need to clearly articulate the proposed solution design and approach for the selected problem statement(s). At the submission stage, we only require a proposal and not a fully functioning solution. Should your team be selected as a finalist, you will need to work towards presenting a prototype of your solution by Demo Day.

Do I need to use the Technology Partner’s technology in my proposal submission?

Utilising the Technology Partners’ provided sandbox or technology is not mandatory. You can opt to submit your proposal entirely using your own solution or a permutation of technologies provided by more than one Technology Partner.

Will participants retain the Intellectual Property Rights of any proposal or solution write-up that are submitted as part of the Global CBDC Challenge?

Any Intellectual Property Rights of a solution remain vested in the participant that has submitted the solution. However, the participant should make available a sufficient amount of information that is necessary to fairly and accurately evaluate the solution against the evaluation criteria. The participant should also allow some details of the solution to be featured in any report that may be issued as part of the Global Challenge.


For Global CBDC Challenge related queries, please reach out to

For technical queries during registration or proposal submission process, please reach out to