South Korea’s Central Bank to Choose Supplier for Digital Currency Pilot

The Bank of Korea is looking for a technology supplier to explore a digital currency in a test environment.

May 24, 2021 at 9:06 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. UTC

South Korea’s central bank took another step toward developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) with plans to build a pilot platform, according to a report.

  • The Bank of Korea (BOK) said it intends to select a technology supplier through an open bidding process to research the practicalities of a CBDC, Reuters reported Monday.
  • The test will run from August to December and involve simulations of banks and retailers, and include mobile-phone payments, funds transfers and deposits.
  • BOK’s research into the issuance of a CBDC was published in February, and determined that it could be treated as fiat currency, not a crypto asset, and could therefore be exchanged freely with cash.
  • In March, Seoul-based Shinhan Bank said it had built a blockchain-based pilot platform for a potential South Korean CBDC, which would involve intermediaries such as Shinhan to distribute the digital won to consumers.
  • Central banks of numerous major economies have announced intentions to research and develop CBDCs in recent months. China is leading the way, with a digital yuan being rolled out to consumers following trials in late 2020.
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