Fubon Bank partners with Ripple for e-HKD pilot program

Fubon Bank has partnered with Ripple, a blockchain company, to investigate real estate tokenization solutions as part of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) eHKD pilot program.

Fubon Bank Hong Kong’s Executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Xu Luosheng, said the bank would conduct an initial trial focused on customers seeking refunds.

The trial will involve tokenizing property liens and providing digital Hong Kong dollar (HKD) loans using Ripple’s customized technology.

Customers who secure these loans will be able to use the digital HKD for various payment scenarios, thereby increasing the practicality and usage of the digital currency.

Xu Luosheng revealed in an interview that individuals looking for mortgages would be the main focus of this trial. The bank will use Ripple’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) platform to digitize legitimate Hong Kong dollars for testing at a fixed 1-to-1 ratio.

Customers can use Fubon’s eHKD e-wallet to access up-to-date information such as loan-to-value ratios (LTV), stress test results, and property valuations, simplifying the loan application process compared to traditional methods.

The pilot program does not include the issuance of digital Hong Kong dollars.

Instead, Fubon Bank will continue to provide its current mortgage loan services to customers who may want to apply for a larger mortgage following the trial.

Ripple and Fubon Bank recently announced their plan to use real estate asset tokenization in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s inaugural e-HKD pilot program.

The Fubon bank executive emphasized that Ripple has been working on similar technologies for some time and has undertaken various projects across different countries and regions.

Xu Luosheng recognizes the maturity of Hong Kong’s payment ecosystem, citing existing platforms such as FPS and Octopus. He proposed issuing loans as the first practical application of the digital Hong Kong dollar to promote its wider adoption.

Customers can leverage digital Hong Kong dollar loans for various purposes, including buying a house or making investments, thus encouraging the currency’s usage.

Ripple’s CBDC director, Ross Edwards, pointed out that the company’s approach uses a technology similar to XRP Ledger (XRPL) to integrate the hypothetical digital Hong Kong dollar with tokenized real estate and financial lending agreements.

Ripple is actively working with various national central banks and participating in regional CBDC projects. In Bhutan, Ripple is presently testing retail, cross-border, and wholesale payment use cases for digital currencies. Meanwhile, Ripple is assisting the government of Palau in creating a national stablecoin that is backed by the US dollar.

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