Secretarium announced by the MAS as part of winning solution for their global CBDC challenge

Secretarium announced by the MAS as part of winning solution for their global CBDC challenge

We’re thrilled that our privacy-preserving smart contract technology has been leveraged in a solution that won the global CBDC challenge organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The competition attracted over 300 submissions from more than 50 countries and was decided by judges from the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and other central banks.

CBDC, which stands for ‘Central Bank Digital Currency, or sometimes referred to as ‘Govcoins’ is a new concept of digital fiat currency issued by a country’s government’s central bank. CBDC theory emerged with the advent of cryptocurrency, and its implementation was catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic and a need for quick efficient solutions to roll out new government policies. Unlike cryptocurrencies, which make up less than 1% of global payments, CBDC currencies are issued by central banks themselves.

A key challenge for central banks when building CBDCs is balancing the tradeoff between consumer privacy with the central banks’ need for monitoring for AML and CTF purposes. Secretarium was built to solve privacy challenges just like this. Our founder and CTO, Cedric Wahl, said:

“We have to be careful when building a CBDC that it won’t become a government tool for mass surveillance. That’s where our technology comes in – it's the modern way to provide the same level of privacy offered by physical cash, while enabling better monitoring tools for central banks.”

Our technology was noted for its ability to provide a full spectrum of payment types, from fully anonymous to fully traceable, digitally programmed to meet law enforcement requirements. The use of Chaumian blind signatures enables fully private and fully anonymous payments to protect consumer privacy, up to a certain threshold, after which traceability can be gradually activated for AML and CTF purposes.

Smart contracts enable smart digital cash solutions for everybody, empowering a new fintech ecosystem and creating regulatory opportunities:

  • Programmable digital cash will enable the central bank and the treasury to effectively implement and manage monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Sliding scale KYC broadens financial inclusion and provides an accessible route out of poverty.
  • Compatible with smartphones, dumbphones, and chips.
  • Can support off-line payments for areas of low or no connectivity.

A CBDC solution powered by our technology could provide faster, cheaper, and more convenient payments:

  • High performance technology can be adapted to achieve tens of thousands of transactions per second, with a low carbon footprint.
  • Transactions executed in milliseconds, enabling real-time execution required for payment systems.
  • Atomic swaps and digital escrow enable simple cross-border and cross-CBDC payments.