29 November 2023

On 16 November 2023, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) announced three initiatives to lay the foundation for the safe and innovative use of digital money in Singapore and launched Gprnt (pronounced “Greenprint”), an integrated digital platform that simplifies how the financial sector and real economy collect, access, and act upon ESG data to support their sustainability initiatives. Details are set out below.

Initiatives for safe and innovative use of digital money in Singapore

The following three initiatives set out below were announced to ensure the safe and innovative use of digital money (i.e. wholesale central bank digital currencies (“CBDC”), tokenised bank liabilities, and regulated stablecoins) in Singapore:

  • Orchid Blueprint, a blueprint outlining the infrastructure required for a digital Singapore dollar;
  • Expanding digital money trials; and
  • A plan to issue a “live” CBDC for wholesale settlement.

MAS published Orchid Blueprint which sets out the technology infrastructure that would be required to facilitate digital money transactions in the future. The blueprint identifies the following infrastructure building blocks for the sound use of digital money in Singapore:

  • Settlement ledger: To record digital money transfers, with supporting features such as native programmability and atomic settlement of digital tokens.
  • Tokenisation bridge: To connect existing account-based settlement systems with ledgers compatible with tokenised forms of digital money.
  • Programmability protocol: To use Purpose Bound Money (“PBM”) as a common protocol to specify the conditions for the use of digital money.
  • Name service: To translate between unwieldy wallet addresses and alternative name identifiers that are readable and meaningful for verification.

To test the broad applicability of PBM and digital money in Singapore, MAS will expand Project Orchid’s digital money trials. MAS, with industry players, will undertake the following four new trials in the following areas to examine relevant infrastructure components and commercial models - tokenised bank liabilities, wallet interoperability, supplier financing, and institutional payment controls.

To complement the digital money trials by the financial industry involving retail and corporate users, MAS will commence the development of CBDC for wholesale interbank settlement in 2024. MAS will pilot the “live” issuance of wholesale CBDCs for the first time, after previously simulating issuance within test environments. The first pilot will involve the use of “live” wholesale CBDC to settle retail payments between commercial banks. Future pilots could include the use of “live” wholesale CBDC for the settlement of cross-border securities trade.

Launch of Gprnt for seamless ESG data collection and access

Gprnt offers an enhanced digital reporting solution for both large businesses and small- and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) to seamlessly report their ESG information. This is currently undergoing live testing with selected banks and SMEs and will be progressively rolled out from Q1 2024. When fully implemented, Gprnt’s reporting solution is expected to help companies automate their ESG reporting process and allow end users (such as financial institutions, regulators and large corporates) to access relevant data and timely insights to support sustainability-related decision making. The platform will synergise across Project Greenprint’s existing functions to support enhanced data access and product innovation by the ESG community.

Following its launch, Gprnt will expand its cross-border capabilities to better serve the more sophisticated data needs of larger multi-national entities and other regional economies. A new entity, Greenprint Technologies Pte Ltd, will be set up with industry players joining as strategic partners.

Gprnt will function as an inclusive and interoperable data layer that serves businesses, corporates, and financial institutions. It will simplify ESG reporting by enabling businesses to automatically convert economic data into sustainability-related information.

  • Data collection: Gprnt will pursue integrations with a range of digital systems employed by businesses in their day-to-day activities. These include systems for utilities consumption, bookkeeping and payroll solutions, building and waste management, payments gateways, and networks for artificial intelligence of things sensors and devices. To make data collection more seamless for businesses in Singapore, Grpnt will also enable the retrieval of relevant data from trusted government sources via Myinfo business by using their Singpass.
  • Data computation: Gprnt will translate and compute source data into ESG-related outputs for businesses to report. Where businesses’ source data is unavailable, the platform will provide artificial intelligence tools such as intelligent document processing to extract key data from user-uploaded documents. A GPT4-powered chatbot will aid businesses in crafting their sustainability disclosures and recommending actionable insights. Gprnt will cater for the mapping of sustainability metrics across key global reporting standards and automatic generation of basic sustainability reports from the middle of 2024 onwards. This reduces duplicative reporting for businesses that adhere to different standards should their activities span multiple geographies and markets.
  • Data access: Businesses have the discretion to decide whom to share their ESG information with. These include:
    • financial institutions, for purposes of obtaining green and sustainability-linked loans;
    • industry partners, to access green business and supply chain opportunities;
    • government or regulatory bodies, to fulfil climate reporting requirements or apply for sustainability-related grants; and
    • international platforms such as the Net Zero Data Public Utility, for businesses seeking to affirm their climate transition commitments at the global level.

Gprnt will initially focus on addressing baseline reporting needs of SMEs. Gprnt will progressively scale its capabilities and network of data sources in 2024 to serve the more advanced needs of larger multi-national corporations, financial institutions, supply chain players and national authorities. Gprnt will partner these organisations to co-develop focused modules for sectoral data collection and outcomes tracking, to better support the transitioning of key sectors such as energy, industrial, and real estate. Gprnt will also collaborate with ESG data providers and core banking solution providers to develop capabilities that streamline how bank users leverage their data to access sustainable financing.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the MAS website www.mas.gov.sg: