Exploring the Security of a Retail CBDC: HK, Israel, and BIS Join Forces
A partnership between the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Bank of Israel (BOI), and the Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub (BISIH) Hong Kong Centre has been announced for the exploration of cybersecurity issues related to central bank digital currencies (CBDC) for consumers. This collaboration examines potential risks and challenges associated with CBDCs in the retail sector and develops strategies to address them. Central banks and financial institutions are becoming increasingly interested in CBDCs, as well as the need to ensure their security and stability.
The BISIH is leading Project Sela, which will examine the cybersecurity concerns surrounding the use of retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).?
Project Sela will examine the security risks associated with a two-tier retail CBDC architecture where intermediaries do not have financial connections in a way that builds on the research conducted in Project Aurum. By the end of 2022, the project should be complete and identify ways to improve cyberattack resilience for this architecture.
According to Howard Lee, Deputy Chief Executive of the HKMA, “We are pleased to team up with the BOI and the BISIH Hong Kong Centre to conduct Project Sela. Not only is the tripartite project a significant milestone in the HKMA’s CBDC journey, it also marks the first collaboration between Hong Kong and Israel on the fintech front."?
He added, "We trust that with the expertise offered by Israel, a global leader in cybersecurity, the findings of the joint project would add to the wealth of knowledge on CBDC and contribute to the common good of the international central banking community.”?
Project Sela looks into how a two-tier retail CBDC model can enable broader market access. Digital currencies are accessed by intermediaries without financial exposure, much like cash is made available without counterparty risk by intermediaries. By doing so, end users could have better access and reduce costs.
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