top of page
  • K Kim and S Pettigrove

Ripple to tokenise real estate in HK CBDC pilot

Updated: Mar 14

Ripple Labs recently announced its participation in the Hong Kong government's e-HKD CBDC pilot by deploying a real estate tokenisation solution. Ripple Labs is the developer of the XRP Ledger (XRPL) blockchain, best known for its cryptocurrency, XRP. The firm received something of a boost last week after a US Court, at first instance, determined that the XRP token is not in and of itself a security.

Ripple's participation in the Hong Kong CBDC pilot forms part of its broader plans to help revolutionise the real estate industry, using tokenisation to streamline transactions, improve transparency, liquidity and accessibility to the global real estate market, which is projected to reach over $5 trillion in value by 2027. The Hong Kong pilot involves 15 other firms trialling further CBDC use cases.

Tokenization is the future of real estate. The pilot combines the Hypothetical e-HKD, tokenized real estate and finance lending protocols. [It] allows users to tokenize real estate as collateral for loans.

The pilot was initiated in May, together with Ripple's partner Fubon Bank, one of the largest commercial banks in Taiwan. Ripple Labs demonstrated their innovative real estate tokenisation solution, combining the e-HKD CBDC, tokenised real estate and lending protocols on their decentralized, public blockchain XRPL. The project aims to enable Hong Kong citizens to release home equity more efficiently and allow commercial banks to benefit from flexible payments and loans.

In relation to the Hong Kong pilot, James Wallis, Ripple Labs’ Vice President of Central Bank Engagements & CBDCs commented:

It’s a huge honor for Ripple to be one of the select few organizations participating in the HKMA’s e-HKD Pilot Programme. We now have the opportunity to demonstrate how real estate asset tokenization could be brought to the citizens of Hong Kong, and are confident that our fully integrated solution will be an industry-first use case demonstrating the power of leveraging a CBDC for real estate equity asset release.

Tokenisation of real-world assets such as real estate, intellectual property and commodities offers various practical benefits, with real world asset tokenisation anticipated to be a multi-trillion-dollar industry by 2030. By representing ownership rights as digital tokens and recording this on a blockchain, the process can reduce transaction costs by eliminating intermediaries while increasing liquidity, accessibility and transparency. As the tokens are tradable, it further enables convenient acquisition and disposal of assets without traditional brokers or time constraints.

While the concept of tokenisation is not new, tokenised real estate is an area of increasing interest for financial institutions and real estate developers.

The tokenisation of property title offers the promise of significant efficiencies for all parties.

The HKMA aims to share the key learnings from its CBDC pilot project with the public at Hong Kong FinTech Week in November this year.


bottom of page