Why is MAS developing Project Orchid?
MAS has assessed that there is no urgent need for a retail CBDC in Singapore at this point in time. The use cases for a retail CBDC are unclear, given that electronic payments in Singapore are pervasive, and households and firms in Singapore are already able to transact digitally in a fast, secure and seamless manner today.
However, MAS has not ruled out the introduction of a retail CBDC at some stage in the future,
in light of the dynamic nature of the payment landscape, evolving consumer preferences and likely growth of the digital asset ecosystem. The case for a retail CBDC in Singapore could strengthen over time, especially if innovative uses emerge or there are signs that digital currencies not denominated in SGD are gaining traction as a medium of exchange locally.
Foundational digital infrastructure which supports digital identity, data exchange, and interoperable payments, play an important role in enabling financial services to be accessed by a wider set of the population and support economic and social development. Businesses and innovators could build upon these foundational infrastructures to develop innovative services, leading to more efficient and affordable services with better user experiences.
One area where significant strides have been made in recent years is the development of the concept of programmable payment and more recently programmable money popularised with the blockchain and peer to peer money movement.