Ripple to demonstrate tokenization in HKMA e-HKD pilot program using new CBDC platform


Ripple will participate in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA’s) digital Hong Kong dollar (e-HKD) central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot program by showcasing a real estate asset tokenization solution. The company will reveal its new CBDC platform at the same time. 

Ripple will partner with Taiwan’s Fubon Bank and others to demonstrate equity release with tokenized assets using a retail version of the e-HKD CBDC. Equity release, also known as a reverse mortgage, is the practice of a lender letting a homeowner access the equity in their home, with payment coming due only when the house is sold or the borrower dies.

Tokenization can reduce friction in the equity release process and speed throughput for banks, Ripple said in a statement. The company is participating in the so-called second rail of the program, which “will take deep dives into use cases as well as application, implementation, and design issues relating to e-HKD,” according to the HKMA.

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“Experiences coming out of the Rail 2 pilots will factor into any decisions by HKMA to go live with an e-HKD at a later date (Rail 3),” Ripple vice president of central bank engagements and CBDCs James Wallis told Cointelegraph in a written Q&A.

The pilot project will run on Ripple’s new CBDC product — the Ripple CBDC Platform — using a new private ledger with XRP Ledger technology and enhanced functionality, including offline transactions and non-smartphone use. Wallis added:

“All the pilot program partnerships that Ripple previously announced, including Montenegro, Palau and Bhutan, will leverage the CBDC Platform.”

Hong Kong started its CBDC research in 2017. “While it appears that e-HKD might not have an imminent role to play in the current retail payment market, we believe prospective use cases for e-HKD can emerge quickly,” the HKMA concluded in a recent paper.

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