|Getty Images Bank|
By Lee Min-hyung
|Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol|
Last month, the central bank finished its first-phase review before setting up the CBDC pilot system. It plans to unveil details for a consulting partnership with a local company on Aug. 31, as part of its second step toward the CBDC drive, the central bank said Sunday.
Those interested in partnering up for the project can submit an application form to the BOK. The central bank did not share specifics over when it would make its selection.
Under the second-phase project, a potential partner will help the BOK establish a CBDC system architecture based on the first-phase research results, the BOK said.
Architecture refers to the overall CBDC system structure ― including details such as applications, data management and security. The BOK plans to speed up the establishment of the CBDC pilot system by using the architecture.
The central bank is set to begin the pilot test of its own CBDC system by the end of 2021.
"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," an official from the central bank said.
The latest move is part of the BOK's drive to join the global banking trend toward digital currency. Major economic powerhouses ― such as the United States and China ― are enhancing their research to possibly issue their own digital currencies with the rise of non-face-to-face transactions.
China is one of the world's most aggressive countries in their vision to issue the CBDC. Until recently, other developed countries ― such as the U.S. and Japan ― remained less agile in their drives for digital currency, but they and a growing number of European countries are on track to embrace the central bank-controlled issuance of digital currencies.
Starting this year, the BOK has also been taking specific actions for its own CBDC drive. But the central bank is still in a position that it does not have to be in a hurry to issue its own digital currency, as the era of the CBDC will not come in the foreseeable future.