The Bank of Korea (BoK) — South Korea’s central bank — will soon take bids for a technology partner to launch a pilot program for a digital won, Reuters reported on Monday (May 24).
A trial run of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is being planned to test how the electronic currency can be used for the settlement and remittance of everyday goods and services. It’s slated to begin in August and continue through June of next year.
The BoK is planning to take bids for a technology partner for the purpose of evaluating the practicality and effectiveness of a digital won. The bank indicated that the pilot doesn’t mean that it has any immediate plans to launch a coin, according to Reuters.
South Korea has already made moves to make way for cryptocurrencies and is considered among the most technologically advanced countries worldwide. It joins other nations blazing a digital trail for the future implementation of eCurrency.
China has already made inroads for the rollout of a digital yuan and is expected to officially launch the eCurrency by the end of 2021. Pakistan also is in the planning stages of testing a digital fiat. The Bank of England created a task force to design and launch a digital pound.
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) said last month that 86 percent of 65 banks surveyed indicated they have embarked on the journey. Some 15 percent have already launched a pilot program.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) already introduced the digital sand dollar with nine financial institutions earlier this month. CBOB Governor John Rolle told the media that a wider rollout of the eCurrency is being planned.
To prepare for a South Korean CBDC, Shinhan Bank headquartered in Seoul initiated a pilot program in March with LG CNS. The bank still needs an intermediary agent to distribute a digital won and promote its use in the country.