Samsung Electronics will participate in the Bank of Korea’s central bank digital currency pilot program to test the practicalities of digital currency remittances without internet availability, according to a report by the Korea Times.

Fast facts

  • An unnamed source familiar with the issue told the Korea Times: “Samsung Electronics has recently decided to participate in the BOK-led CBDC pilot project, under which interested parties will research the practicalities of the CBDC in a test environment.”
  • According to the report, the bank and Samsung officials aim to explore the potential of a CBDC to create more efficient and advanced payments systems and enhance financial inclusion — monitoring the tests in a virtual environment. Samsung plans to test the usability of blockchain-based payment systems on its Galaxy smartphone.
  • Specifically, Samsung will focus its efforts on testing whether it is “possible to conduct payments via mobile phones using the digital currency with no internet availability, or to send CBDC remittances to other mobile phones or to other connected bank accounts,” according to an unnamed official cited in the report.
  • The central bank began the first phase of its CBDC pilot program on July 28. It will run until December, with the aim of determining the technology required. The second and final phase will begin in January 2022 and run until June, and will trial the CBDC’s applicability in expanding central bank practices, offline payments, purchases of digital assets and more. The CBDC pilot program is co-managed by Ground X, a blockchain affiliate of messaging platform Kakao.