CBDC Motivations and Challenges – A Perspective from Asia-Pacific

Wednesday 20th July 2022

There are many motivations for rolling out a CBDC, from achieving higher financial inclusion and higher transactional efficiency to preserving monetary sovereignty by compensating for the declining use of cash and by countering the entrance of new private forms of digital currencies.

Each country has a different set of features and objectives that make the CBDC’s design and roll-out a tailor-made process. 

In the seventh session of FNA’s CBDC Broadcast, we talked to two guest speakers from the Bank of Japan and Standard Chartered Bank Singapore, who offer an insight into CBDCs from an Asia-Pacific perspective. 


The Session Covered

    • An overview of CBDCs in Japan and Singapore 
    • The motivations and challenges, and expected outcomes of introducing a retail CBDC
    • Whether there is a first-mover advantage when it comes to rolling out a CBDC
    • Should CBDCs serve as a complement to or substitute for cash? 
    • The implications of introducing a CBDC on custodians like Standard Chartered and the securities services industry 
    • An insight into the Bank of Japan’s CBDC ledger design alternatives 
    • Can a central bank balance the delicate trade-off between the privacy of transactions and anti-money laundering considerations. 
    • How can central banks and relevant stakeholders assess the potential outcomes and effects that influence CBDC design choices? 


Watch Now:



Session #7 Guests


Masaki Bessho

Head of FinTech Centre, Bank of Japan

Since September 2021, Masaki Bessho has been Head of FinTech Center, Bank of Japan, having served as Associate Director-General of Payment and Settlement Systems Department, Deputy Chief Representative for Europe, and Head of Financial Infrastructure Studies Division. He has represented the Bank in several digital currency/FinTech-related international forums, including the group of central banks and the Bank for International Settlements, to explore CBDC. He received an LL.M. from the University of Virginia (1999) and an LL.B. from Kyoto University (1994). He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.


Dr Steven Hu

Head of Digital Assets, Trade & Working Capital at Standard Chartered Bank

Dr Steven Hu is responsible for the strategy and roadmap of digital assets to support the real economy, driving initiatives across Digital Currencies, Asset-Backed Tokenisation, and venture building.

He has previously led the Distributed Ledger Program within HSBC’s Global Liquidity & Cash Management business.

Together with a team of experts, Steven invented HSBC’s award-winning On-Chain Payment, which streamlines payments processes for multiple participants by linking blockchain-based ecosystems to be able to transact in multiple currencies near instantaneously, 24/7. Steven has also been on the advisory/working committees of several central banks, working n the designs of wholesale/retail CBDCs. 

Steven is the Co-Chair of the Digital Currency sub-committee for the Blockchain Association of Singapore, a Professional Council Member at the Global FinTech Institute, and an Advisory Council Member for Global Digital Finance. He regularly speaks at international conferences, including the Singapore Fintech Festival and Future of Money. Steven received his PhD degree from the National University of Singapore. He holds several Fintech and technology patents and has published a number of journals, conferences, papers and book chapters.


Resources & Links

Access the slides from this session here >

The Future of FinTech: Chapter 7: Central Bank Digital Currencies: Opportunities and Challenges in the Post-pandemic Era pp 223-280 (2022) Read More > 

Bank of Japan, Liaison and Coordination Committee on Central Bank Digital Currency Interim Report (5th July 2022) Read More > 

Bank of Japan presentation on CBDCs

Bank of Japan’s approach to CBDCs


Missed our previous sessions? Watch the series on-demand


20th July 2022

CBDC Motivations and Challenges – A Perspective from Asia-Pacific

With: Masaki Bessho & Dr Steven Hu

Watch Now >


30th June 2022

Central Banks and Private Money: The Past, Present and Future

With: John Kiff & Harish Natarajan

Watch Now >


18th May 2022

CBDC Motivations and Challenges – A Perspective from Latin America

With: Ludmilla Butueau Allien & Dr Adolfo Sarmiento

Watch Now >

28th April 2022

CBDC Motivations and Challenges- A Perspective from the UK & Canada

With: Dr Francisco Rivadeneyra & Mehregan Ameri

Watch Now >

16th March 2022

HSBC & IBM’s Joint CBDC Project

With: Mark Williamson & Soren Mortensen

Watch Now >

15th February 2022

Critical policy issues & Lessons Learned from UK and China

With: Jean-Michel Godeffroy & Keith Bear

Watch Now >

11th January 2022

Quantifying the Impact of CBDCs

With: Dr Kimmo Soramäki & Dr Carlos León

Watch Now >



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