The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) does not plan to issue a state digital currency, a senior official from the department said.
During a meeting with legislators, Joseph Chan, acting secretary for financial services and treasury, said that HKMA had studied the topic and concluded that such a currency would prove less useful to Hong Kong than to some other jurisdictions in the world.
The HKMA has carried out research on CBDC (central bank digital currency). At the same time, the HKMA notes that the benefits of CBDC and its efficiency gains will depend on the actual circumstances of a jurisdiction. In the context of Hong Kong, the already efficient payment infrastructure and services make CBDC a less attractive proposition. The HKMA has no plan to issue CBDC at this stage but will continue to monitor the international development.
Acting Secretary, Financial Services and the Treasury
Last April, HKMA reported for the first time that it was "studying and creating evidence of the concept of a digital currency issued by the central bank." At the same time, the agency announced that it would complete the first stage of the project before the end of 2017 and, based on its result, decide on further actions.
The last statement of Chan was a response to the request of legislator Dennis Kwok, sent on May 18. According to the published document, Kwok wanted to know whether the government was going to issue its own digital currency in order to keep Hong Kong's competitiveness in the field of financial innovation.