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Digital currency

Kakao’s Ground X to work on Korea central bank digital currency initiative

Ground X to implement the CBDC’s issuance, distribution, remittances, payment in virtual space

By Jul 20, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Ground X CEO Jaesun Han
Ground X CEO Jaesun Han

Kakao Corp.’s blockchain arm Ground X was selected as a simulator for the Bank of Korea-led central bank digital currency (CBDC) project, beating the country’s platform giant Naver Corp.

The Bank of Korea chose Ground X as the project simulator, according to Korea ON-Line E-Procurement System on July 20.

Ground X will implement the CBDC’s issuance, distribution, remittances between countries and payment in virtual space. It plans to start the CBDC pilot program from the next month to June 2022. The Bank of Korea budgeted some 5 billion won ($4.4 million) for the project.

Ground X’s subcontractors include KakaoBank Corp., Kakao Pay Corp., a US-based blockchain firm ConsenSys, and a South Korea’s blockchain startup Onther.

Ground X is expected to use the public blockchain platform Klaytn for the CBDC. The company said it would develop Klaytn into a private blockchain for the CBDC when it applied for the project.

The Bank of Korea plans to conduct the CBDC simulation in two stages. In the first stage, it will create a simulation environment and check the CBDC’s basic functions. It will test function of extension using the CBDC and privacy issues in the second stage.

Naver applied for the project via its subsidiary LINE Plus Corp., but failed to participate in the pilot program.

Write to Jin-Woo Park and Ik-Hwan Kim at jwp@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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