To date, various nations have not only noted the potential need for a CBDC in the future, but have actually embarked on pilot programs to develop them. The most recent nation to accelerate this process, delving in to a pilot program, is South Korea.
In this recent announcement by The Bank of Korea (also the nation’s central bank), they begin by stating, ‘The need for the introduction of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the Bank of Korea will increase.’ It is this recognition that has clearly prompted them to look at the logistics surrounding the creation, dispersion, and usage of such a CBDC.
What Will it Look Like?
While the BOK states that they are looking into the feasibility of utilizing blockchain to underpin a CBDC, usage of this technology is not a given.
Furthermore, the pilot program is expected to look at more than simply the technical requirements behind such a feat. This extended look includes possible legal hurdles, expected cooperation between other central banks, custody solutions, and more.
The pilot program is said to be structured as a 22 month process, with the following breakdown.
- Defining CBDC design and functionality
- 5 months
- Technological requirements
- 5 months
- Business process analysis through external consultation
- 4 months
- CBDC construction and testing in controlled environment
- 12 months
The BOK, notably, refers to Sweden and their CBDC, the e-Krona, with regards to the structuring of their pilot program.
The acronym ‘CBDC’, refers to a ‘Central Bank Digital Currency’. These currencies are digital representations of previously established FIAT – meaning government issued currency.
While their structuring may vary, most believe that CBDCs will be structured as blockchain based tokens; Primarily due to the technologies ability to encode fungibility, while providing easy and cost efficient value transfer.
While digital, because CBDCs are issued by government regulated entities, they would be subject to the same, or very similar, regulations and scrutiny as traditional paper currencies.
If this approach being taken by The Bank of Korea sounds familiar, perhaps that it because The Bank of Canada has recently announced similar intentions.
While there is no firm timetable for the launch of a potential digital dollar, development is in the works. As the adage goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. Clearly, this is a stance adopted by each of these central banks, as they look to be prepared for the eventual need of a CBDC. When the time comes, and a cure is needed for ailing paper currencies, preventative measures will be ready on the sidelines.
The Bank of Korea (BOK)
The Bank of Korea acts as the central bank for South Korea. Operations are situated in the capital, Seoul.
In operation since 1950, The Bank of Korea is currently spearheaded by Governor, Lee Ju-yeol
In Other News
Recently, we took a brief look at a few ways that COVID-19 is affecting blockchain based endeavours, to date. One of these revolves around issues which plague paper currency, and the need to go digital. Make sure to read the following article to learn more about the perks brought forth by CBDCs.