The Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), together with the Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), is collaborating with the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, and the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) to develop a regulatory sandbox framework for testing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and FinTech in the Maldives.
A regulatory sandbox is established by a regulator to facilitate small-scale testing of innovative products and services under special conditions. These conditions often include exemptions from specific regulatory requirements, while the regulator closely supervises the testing process. Sandboxes function as regulatory laboratories that enable regulatory authorities to observe and evaluate the outcomes of small-scale tests, allowing them to make data-and evidence-informed decisions when developing relevant legislation.
The objective of this global guidance toolkit is to map out the necessary steps and key elements for the designing and operationalizing policy regulatory sandbox on CBDC and FinTech. The global toolkit builds on the previous studies conducted by ESCAP and UNDESA on this area as well as lessons learned from other countries who have adopted a Sandbox approach for their digital currency and FinTech experiments.
The global toolkit starts with background analysis on FinTechs and regulations, Central Banks as innovation facilitators, potential stakeholders for CBDC, and digital payment trends. The next section discusses the nature of sandboxes, including implementation and operation of such a Sandbox. The document ends with a conclusion suggesting how Central Banks could consider adopting a Sandbox approach for digital currency development.