Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority is looking to cooperate with China in the field of central bank digital money.

Ravi Menon, the managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, has voiced the country’s readiness to enter into a close cooperation with China in relation to digital currencies.

Speaking at a financial forum in Shanghai, Menon highlighted China’s progress in the development of its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, known as the digital yuan. Singapore, which is also actively exploring blockchain-based CBDCs, is looking to exchange related knowledge and expertise with China, Sina Finance reports June 18.

Menon reportedly said that the CBDC is currently a very hot topic, noting that Singapore and China’s central bank are discussing various CBDC development scenarios. Outlining that the reasons for developing a CBDC vary by country, the official emphasized that the main goal of Singapore’s CBDC project is to cut cross-border payment and settlement costs, reduce settlement time, and ensure transaction security.

MAS official encourages more cooperation with Facebook’s Libra

At the event, Menon also mentioned Facebook’s troubled stablecoin project, Libra. The official reportedly noted that Libra is a big challenge for the global central bank system, but the project also has “great flexibility,” while the Libra team is committed to work closely with global regulators. “We should not reject the value of Libra, but should have more discussions with them,” Menon added. The official previously voiced a similar stance to Libra in summer 2019.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has been working on its blockchain-powered interbank payment project since late 2016. Officially announced in 2018, the so-called “Project Ubin,” is a collaborative effort to explore the use of blockchain for clearing and settlement of payments and securities.

China has more digital currency plans to rival USD and Libra

In June 2019, China’s central bank was reportedly racing to launch its digital yuan ahead of Facebook’s Libra. While China’s CBDC is purportedly being tested in some cities already, experts are confident that China may launch its digital yuan without citizens noticing the change.

It was reported in mid-June that China is also planning an East Asia digital currency to gain more independence from the United States dollar. The planned digital currency would reportedly include a basket of regional currencies like the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won, and Hong Kong dollar.