Kicking its digital won development into higher gear, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has announced a call for partners to bid on serving as a technology supplier for South Korea’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, according to The Korea Herald.

Fast Facts:

  • The supplier will be chosen through an open bidding process, where companies with a bid price lower than the project budget will be evaluated on technology (90%) and price (10%). South Korea’s central bank envisions forming a partnership by July this year.
  • The CBDC simulation environment assumes a two-tier, distributed ledger-based system where the Bank of Korea manages manufacturing, issuing and redeeming the digital currency while the private sector manages the future digital won’s distribution.
  • The project will proceed in two stages. Stage I will verify the technical feasibility of basic functions such as issuance, distribution and redemption of a digital currency. Stage II will review the applicability of advanced CBDC technologies such as offline payments, digital asset purchasing and strengthened protection of personal information.
  • The CBDC simulation project is set to start in August. The Bank of Korea aims to complete Stage I of this project by December this year, and Stage II by June 2022. The project has a budget of 4.96 billion won, or about US$4.4 million.