Started by the end of July 2021, the Bank Of Korea central bank digital currency (CBDC) project has been gaining traction. Per a report by the Korea Times, the project will be aided by electronics company Samsung.
The company and the financial institution will build the platform that will support the CBDC. In addition to Samsung, the Bank of Korea has brought in other partners from the private sector, such as Ground X, a blockchain-based division from another company called Kakao.
The Times cited a source on an executive position to support its claims:
Samsung Electronics has recently decided to participate in the BOK-led CBDC pilot project, under which interested parties will research the practicalities of the CBDC in a test environment.
Representatives from Samsung and the Bank of Korea have spoken about the benefits of CBDCs and their potential to improve the country’s payment system. The Times claims that Samsung and the Bank of Korea will test the “usability” of blockchain systems on the Galaxy mobile.
Specifically, the Kakao consortium and Samsung Group’s two tech affiliates will launch a pilot program aimed at checking on money transfers and remittances between countries, issuing and distributing the CBDC and monitoring how that eventually works in virtual environments.
Samsung To Test CBDC Functionality With Its Smartphones?
The sources quoted by the report said the project will have two main focuses on the Samsung side: the capacity to conduct payments to other devices and the possibility
(…) payments via mobile phones using the digital currency with no internet availability, or to send CBDC remittances to other mobile phones or to other connected bank accounts.
The objectives will be carried out by the company’s IT unit and an affiliate called Escor. These entities will handle the procedures for the experiments with the central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Times reported.
Apparently, high-ranking officials at the Central Bank of Korea have dismissed cryptocurrencies and their potential to improve the current financial systems, mainly due to the volatility of the assets. However, China’s own digital currency, the e-CNY or digital yuan, has brought concerns to its neighbors in Asia.
The development of South Korea’s CBDC will initially operate in a virtual environment during its test phase. Samsung and other partners involved will look for issues and bugs and the technical limitations of the project.
Later, in mid-2022 the project will be focused on “offline payments”, e-commerce, remittances, and other applications. The CBDC will allegedly also have advance privacy features developed in collaboration with private banks.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin trades at $49,913 with a 2% loss in the 24 hours chart.