Digital Hong Kong Dollar Trial Paves the Way for Web3 Hub Ambitions


  • The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) initiates a trial run for a digital version of the local currency, e-HKD, signaling Hong Kong’s embrace of digital transformation and aspirations to become a Web3 hub.
  • The trial involves 16 selected banks and payment companies, exploring six potential use cases for the digital asset, including online and offline payments, tokenized deposits, and Web3 transaction settlement.
  • The e-HKD trial is part of HKMA’s Fintech 2025 strategy, aimed at fortifying Hong Kong’s financial technology capabilities and positioning it as a leading international finance and Web3 hub. The results will inform future steps in the development and implementation of the digital currency.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has taken a significant step towards digitizing financial transactions with the launch of a trial run for a digital version of the region’s local currency, known as the e-HKD or “Cyber Hong Kong Dollar.” This trial marks a crucial development in Hong Kong’s efforts to embrace digital transformation and position itself as a hub for Web3 technologies. While the live launch of the e-HKD is not yet guaranteed, the trial underscores the growing trend of digitized lifestyles and the rising prominence of digital wallets in Hong Kong.

The e-HKD Trial Run

The e-HKD pilot involves the participation of 16 selected banks and payment companies, including industry giants HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. These institutions will test the digital asset across six potential use cases, ranging from online and offline payments to tokenized deposits, programmable payments, Web3 transaction settlement, and tokenized asset settlement. The trial will be conducted within a controlled sandbox environment, facilitating experimentation and the exploration of new applications for the digital currency.

It’s the right time for Hong Kong to consider a centralised digital currency, says Howard Lee, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Photo: Jonathan Wong
Howard Lee Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Fortifying Hong Kong’s Financial Technology Prowess

The e-HKD trial is part of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Fintech 2025 strategy, aimed at strengthening the region’s financial technology capabilities. The strategy follows a three-track approach, focusing on establishing a technical and legal foundation, studying use cases and conducting trials, and consolidating insights to devise a comprehensive plan and timeline for the official launch of the digital currency. Additionally, the HKMA plans to form a CBDC expert group in collaboration with academia to address complex policy and technical issues related to the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

HKMA’s Role in Hong Kong’s Finance and Web3 Landscape

As the regulatory body overseeing the banking system in Hong Kong, the HKMA plays a vital role in maintaining the reliability and integrity of the financial sector. Beyond its regulatory responsibilities, the HKMA aims to position Hong Kong as a leading international finance and Web3 hub. The digital transformation of the local currency aligns with this vision, as it paves the way for innovative financial technologies and reinforces Hong Kong’s reputation as a forward-thinking and technologically advanced financial center.

The Road Ahead

While the e-HKD trial is a significant milestone, the HKMA has not yet made a final decision regarding the official live roll-out of the digital currency. The results of the trial, expected to be published in November, will provide valuable insights and inform future steps in the development and implementation of the e-HKD. Meanwhile, other jurisdictions around the world, such as Canada, England, and South Korea, are also progressing with their Central Bank Digital Currency initiatives, highlighting the global trend towards embracing digital currencies and the potential transformative impact on financial systems.

Demonstrated Commitment

The HKMA’s launch of the e-HKD trial demonstrates Hong Kong’s commitment to digital transformation and its ambition to become a leading Web3 hub. By embracing the potential of digital currencies and leveraging advancements in financial technology, Hong Kong aims to enhance its competitiveness in the global finance industry. As the trial progresses and the results are evaluated, the future of the e-HKD will become clearer, potentially opening up new opportunities for innovation and further solidifying Hong Kong’s position as a trailblazer in the world of finance and Web3 technologies.


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