The Bank of Korea (BOK) has chosen its preferred supplier to build a pilot platform for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot.

  • South Korea's central bank has picked Ground X, a blockchain subsidiary of South Korea-based internet giant Kakao, the Korea Herald reported Tuesday.
  • The deal is planned to be closed by the end of July with the pilot program commencing next month.
  • It was reported in May that the BOK was seeking a technology supplier through an open bidding process, with the plan for simulations researching the practicalities of a CBDC involving banks and retailers to run from August to December.
  • The BOK has said the pilot program was allocated for 4.9 billion won ($4.4 million), according to the Korea Herald's report.
  • Ground X launched its own blockchain Klaytn in 2018, on which it stores and verifies unlisted investments as non-fungible tokens as of February this year.
  • Seoul-based Shinhan bank announced in March it had built a blockchain-based platform for a potential South Korean CBDC. Shinhan last month joined Klaytn's governance council to partake in the platform’s blockchain operation and develop a number of Klaytn-based digital services for South Korea’s fintech ecosystem.
  • The central banks of almost all major economies have shown an interest in investigating or developing a CBDC in recent years, with China's digital yuan (or E-CNY) the closest to fruition. Along with Sweden, South Korea appears to be leading the pack in China's wake.
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