South Korea's digital won to begin distribution phase next year

The South Korean central bank announced on Oct. 7 that it will begin the distribution phase of its central bank digital currency, or CBDC, pilot scheme next year.

This will see the digital won enter circulation, with financial institutions getting involved in the distribution and transactions being recorded to the blockchain, according to an article in local media outlet The Korea Herald.

As Cointelegraph reported, Bank of Korea’s 22-month CBDC pilot scheme launched in March of this year. Distribution is the third and final phase of the program and would seem to be on schedule with the roadmap presented at the scheme’s launch.

Phase one was completed in July, and defined the requirements and design of the CBDC along with a review of the technology needed to implement the project.

The second phase is currently underway, and is focused on an analysis of the business and related processes. This is scheduled to run until the end of the 2020, leading to the final build and distribution phase.

Despite solid progress on the pilot program, the Bank of Korea maintains that it has no currently confirmed plans to launch a CBDC once it completes. Rather, it wishes to be fully prepared to take such measures if market conditions, either nationally or globally, were to change suddenly.

This may be the case once China’s persistently “just-around-the-corner” digital yuan finally launches, with reports suggesting that South Korean merchants would be open to accepting this as a payment method.

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