Bank of Korea Accelerates CBDC Plans

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  • The Bank of Korea has moved onto phase two of its CBDC implementation plan
  • The bank is now seeking a consultation partner to lead it through the process
  • A pilot program is planned for late 2021

The Bank of Korea has accelerated its plans to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and has invited consulting companies to tender for the job of helping plan out the infrastructure of the system. The Bank of Korea wants to start testing its CBDC by the end of 2021, putting it at the forefront of the CBDC revolution alongside France and China, noting China’s push in particular as a reason to accelerate development.

Bank of Korea Gives Phase Two the Green Light

According to The Korean Times, The Bank of Korea finished its first phase review of a potential CBDC last month, and the second phase involves picking a partner to lead them through the not inconsiderable task of creating a digital won. The chosen partner will use the data collected during the first phase to help the Bank of Korea establish a CBDC system architecture ahead of a potential 2021 pilot.

The paper also reports that China’s rapid development of their own CBDC has forced the Bank of Korea to move quicker than they had initially planned – the communist country has by far been the most aggressive mover in terms of a blockchain based central currency, leaving other countries playing catchup.

South Korea Forced to Act?

Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen attested the delicate position of global finance last week when he talked of a tech cold war that now existed between the United States and China, with the dollar’s dominance at stake if the US lets China dominate the future financial system.

As a near neighbor of China, and its communist ally North Korea, South Korea is under more direct pressure from China’s blockchain push. It seems however that the Bank of Korea is doing all it can to responsibly push its CBDC in order to keep up with both local and international developments.