After completing the first phase of its CBDC’s development, Bank of Korea (BoK) will now be looking for a private company to get involved with phase two, The Korea Times reported on 31 August.
According to the publication, BoK has been accelerating the development of its digital won this year, likely in response to China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DC/EP) system, which is reportedly already in the testing phase. The Korean central bank completed the first review phase of its CBDC project just last month, and is now looking to hire a local company to help it with the second step towards an operational CBDC pilot.
While details of the consulting partnership have still not been made available, the bank has said that the chosen firm will assist BoK with building the architecture of the CBDC, which should detail system aspects such as security systems, handling of data, and possible applications.
An official from the central bank told The Korea Times:
“The BOK will team up with a consulting partner to map out the overall work process and architecture to operate the digital currency system, and both sides will also come up with specific action plans to successfully establish the pilot system on time.”
The bank will soon release the “minimum requirements” that a firm needs to cover before starting their bid to become a participant in the “consultancy” race. It is expected that companies will have around a month to submit their bids, with BoK’s plans to have a pilot up and running sometime in late 2021.
With all that said, the Korean central bank still has no plans to release its CBDC, but is saying that it is only taking specific actions to be prepared for when other national currencies go digital. Even though it remains skeptical, Korea was able to complete the first phase of its CBDC pilot program only in a few months, it being launched at the start of April.