South Korea’s central bank has named Ground X, Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary, as its partner in the country’s central bank digital currency simulation project.

Fast facts

  • Ground X was designated as the preferred bidder, beating out Naver and SK C&C. Ground X has more experience in blockchain than the other bidders, operating public blockchain platform Klaytn and issuing its own cryptocurrency, KLAY.
  • After the announcement, Ground X also revealed its subcontractors in the project, Ethereum-based developers Consensys and Onther, and Kakao subsidiaries KakaoBank and KakaoPay.
  • The CBDC simulation project will be divided into two stages. Phase one will test the technical feasibility of the CBDC’s basic functions, such as issuance, distribution and redemption. Phase two, likely to take place next year, will trial the CBDC’s applicability in expanding central bank practices, offline payments, purchases of digital assets and more.   
  • Bank of Korea’s CBDC simulation project will commence next month and is expected to run for 10 months. Its total budget is around 4.96 billion won (US$4.31 million).