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South Korea CBDC To Appear on Samsung Galaxy Smartphones

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Samsung joins South Korea's CBDC pilot program.
  • The digital currency will soon be available on Samsung’s Galaxy series.
  • The currency, which the Bank of Korea is developing, began its pilot on July 28, 2021.
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Samsung will participate in South Korea’s CBDC pilot program, with the asset set for integration with its flagship Galaxy smartphones.

Samsung has joined South Korea’s pilot program that will test the country’s in-development central bank digital currency (CBDC). The digital currency will soon be made available on Samsung’s flagship smartphone line, the Galaxy series.

The currency, which the Bank of Korea is developing, began its pilot on July 28, 2021, and is being worked on in collaboration with Ground X. The latter is associated with the popular messaging platform Kakao.

An executive who was familiar with the proceedings spoke to local media outlet Korea Times, saying that remittances will be one key point in the trial,

“Specifically, the Kakao consortium and Samsung Group’s two tech affiliates will launch a pilot program aimed at checking on money transfers and remittances between countries, issuing and distributing the CBDC and monitoring how that eventually works in virtual environments.”

The main platform for the CBDC will be Klaytn, which was developed by Ground X. Generally speaking, officials have shown some appreciation for CBDCs, but less for cryptocurrencies themselves.

Samsung has experience with the crypto market. It took the headlines in 2019 when it announced that its Samsung Galaxy S10 model would support several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum, and Enjin. More recently, it announced that Galaxy devices would support hardware wallets, which is a big point of exposure for the crypto market.

South Korea catching up with China

The large swathe of regulation that has come into place over the past two years indicates that South Korea is adamant about keeping the market in check. It will want to quickly implement its own CBDC, as the benefits are readily apparent — as seen in China’s many CBDC pilot programs. To that end, it has laid out a ten-year plan that focuses on blockchain and CBDCs, among other things.

While it is still behind China in terms of reach and integration, South Korea has also been making tremendous progress with its CBDC efforts. The country is currently revamping regulation in many regards, both to protect investors and support innovative solutions.

Arguably the biggest decision made by officials was the creation of a new guideline for exchanges, which they have been cracking down on. This month should see the country’s first fully regulated exchange materialize, a major moment that will likely shape the market’s future in the nation.

South Korea has also begun taxing the crypto market, which led to some investors criticizing officials for the tax rate. Most citizens believe that the market should be taxed, however. The country has also banned privacy tokens.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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