Advances in Blockchain Drives Banks Toward Digital Currencies, Says Bank of Korea


South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea, has conducted new research and analysis on the progress of central bank digital currencies — or CBDCs — around the world.

The bank released its “Overseas CBDC Progress Report” on May 18, in which the institution analyzed the CBDC projects of 14 central banks.

New tech is a catalysts for CBDC projects

The bank found that recent advances in payment settlements, decentralized ledger technology and the sharp declines in cash use are the main factors driving central banks to research and develop CBDCs.

Most central banks in the report are currently developing IT systems to examine the feasibility of the established CBDC model.

According to the report, central banks in Sweden, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong have revealed the implementation of distributed ledger technology in their respective CBDC research. Bank of Korea explained: 

“Most central banks are focusing on research on whether new future-oriented technologies can be applied to CBDCs, away from the centralized ledger management and account-based transactions that are currently applied to payment and settlement systems.” 

Small vs. large payments

Norway, the Eastern Carribean Central Bank, the Bahamas, Sweden, the United Kingdom and China are researching CBDCs for micropayments, while Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, Thailand, Hong Kong, and France are concentrating their CBDC efforts for handling large sums. 

According to the report, Sweden and China have already completed proofs-of-concept and have reached the pilot stage, while the Bahamas’ CBDC is in trial operation. 

The Eastern Carribean Central Bank, Japan, the European Central Bank, Singapore, Canada, Thailand and Hong Kong are still exploring the concept of a CBDC.

Further plans 

Bank of Korea said it is considering the possibility of using various distributed ledger platforms such as Hyperledger Fabric and Coda in its own CBDC project. 

The bank will continue to exchange information with tech firms at home and abroad, and plans to seek external technical advisors.

Cointelegraph reached out to the bank for additional details but received no response as of press time. This article will be updated accordingly should a response come in.