CBDC Motivations and Challenges – A Perspective from Asia-Pacific


Wednesday 20th July 2022


| Masaki Bessho, Bank of Japan

| Dr Steven Hu, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore


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 offered 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


14:00 – 14:10: Intro: Our host Carlos León introduces the session

14:10 – 14:50: Guest speakers: Masaki Bessho and Dr Steven Hu

14:50 – 15:00  Q&A: Our host and speakers will answer questions from participants


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.


Missed our previous sessions?


You can catch up with The CBDC Broadcast on-demand. View all episodes > 

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