The Bank of Korea (BOK) plans to conduct a central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot in which it will invite 100,000 Korean citizens to test the digital currency by making payments for goods. The pilot is set to start around September to October 2024 and will last for three months. Participants will be limited to using the CBDC solely for payments, with no option to store, exchange, or send it to others. The primary objective of the pilot is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of issuing and distributing digital currency.
During the testing, the BOK will collaborate with the Korea Exchange to integrate the CBDC into a simulation system for carbon emissions trading. This will help assess the feasibility of delivery versus payment transactions. The BOK’s announcement coincided with a visit to Seoul by Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), who has referred to the Korean CBDC project as the “digital won.”
The CBDC pilot, announced in October, will involve private banks and public institutions and will test both retail and wholesale CBDCs. The BIS will provide expert technical support for the project. The BIS is actively involved in various global CBDC initiatives, supporting central banks in developing and implementing digital currencies.
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