Crypto Leaders Discuss Libra, China's CBDC and a Cashless Future at the Singapore Fintech Festival

Sarah Tran   Nov 15, 2019 03:40 2 Min Read (12).jpg


The Singapore Fintech Festival gathered even more blockchain professionals on Day 2 of the event, kicking off with representatives of tech giants including Intel, Microsoft, and Nasdaq sharing insights on navigating the impending economic slowdown and global uncertainty regarding the global access to data. 


A noteworthy panel followed on the topic of “defining the future of digital currency,” joined by Christian Catalini, co-creator of Libra and Head Economist of Calibra, Mu Changchun, Director-General of the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China, HE Serey Chea, from the National Bank of Cambodia and Umar Farooq, Head of Blockchain at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.


Catalini explained that in the current economic tensions, although tech has been around for 30 years, 1.7 billion people are still unbanked. He mentioned that some of the average charges for sending a remittance are around 7%; by using blockchain technology, a lot of issues can be solved for real people. 


Mu further explained China’s development of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) and claimed that one of its goals is for financial inclusion for the people who live in the remote and rural areas in China. He stated that China is “not aiming to keep information on the general public,” but rather to create a cash-light society while “preparing for anything bad happening” in the financial ecosystem.


Chea introduced the Bakong Project by Cambodia's national bank, while highlighting that mobile phone penetration has been huge in Cambodia, with subscriptions over 20 million in the country - the biggest challenge they are currently working on is bringing the mobile payments and the traditional banks together. Having explored with Hyperledger, the central banks could issue a wallet to everyone to use and download, while the banks and payments services could get access to tokenized fiat, and then issue it to the end-users. Consumers can then withdraw digitized fiat to their own wallets.





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