What is Project Orchid?
According to MAS (Schemes and Initiatives)
last revised 31 Oct 2022
Project Orchid is a multi-year, multi-phase exploratory project examining the various design and technical aspects pertinent to a retail CBDC system for Singapore, from its functionalities to its interaction with existing payment infrastructures. Though MAS has assessed that there is no urgent need for a retail CBDC in Singapore at this point in time, MAS seeks to facilitate ongoing learning and advance the financial infrastructure in Singapore
- Develop the technology infrastructure and technical competencies necessary to issue a retail CBDC (i.e., a digital version of Singapore dollar cash)
- Explore potential use cases for a programmable money in Singapore
Rather than building a CBDC ledger first, the project has taken a user driven approach instead. The first phase of the project aims to uncover potential use cases for a programmable digital SGD and the infrastructure required. Subsequent phases of Project Orchid will investigate the optimal ledger technology to build out a CBDC as well as its integration to the existing financial market infrastructure.
MAS states that there is currently "no urgent need for a retail CBDC" in Singapore, but is nevertheless exploring the possibilities of one through Project Orchid. Phase 1 of the trial focuses on Purpose Bound Money, and will be disbursed in the form of vouchers at Singapore Fintech Festival 2022.