South Korean Central Bank Launches CBDC Legal Advisory Unit
South Korea is once again intensifying the pace of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) progress – with a central bank-run team now investigating legal obstacles that might stand in the way of digital won issuance.
Bitter political and financial rival Japan last week took a step closer to launching a digital yen. The country’s central bank launched operations to examine ways of using a CBDC offline. Tokyo is keen to ensure that a digital token could offer universal access and meet a range of stringent tech specifications. Earlier this month, the Japanese central bank also launched a feasibility pilot.
But per a report from Fn News, the Bank of Korea (BOK) is determined to “speed up” the pace of its own CBDC operations. Industry insiders have told Cryptonews.com that Seoul is determined not to fall behind Japan and China, whose own digital yuan project is reportedly on the verge of a real-world pilot with a private ride-share firm.
As previously reported, the BOK could launch a pilot as early as December this year after completing a technical survey. And, on Monday, the bank has announced the launch of a new legal advisory unit, which it says will work with the BOK until May next year.
The unit will review legal issues related to potential CBDC issuance, and could recommend possible legal amendments, with a progress report due “in the second half of 2020.”
The group will comprise a number of the BOK’s own legal experts, as well as six non-BOK affiliated legal experts, including leading academics. Cryptocurrency- and blockchain-specific law experts from Seoul’s Yonsei University and Sungkyunkwan University were named as members.
Fn News claims that the BOK has changed its interest in CBDC issuance from “passive” to “active,” although the BOK is still non-committal on CBDC issuance. Instead, the central bank insists that it is conducting its research to prepare for issuance “if a need to do so arises.”