Bank of Korea has named Ground X, a blockchain subsidiary of the nation’s tech giant Kakao Corp., as the preferred bidder for its pilot digital currency development program.

According to the Kore Herald report, South Korea’s central bank, Bank of Korea, announced Ground X, a blockchain subsidiary of the nation’s tech giant Kakao Corp., as the preferred bidder for the partner position on its pilot digital currency development program. The Bank of Korea advertised for posts on its website seeking businesses interested in a 10-month partnership deal as a technological supplier to develop its CBDC. 

Bank of Korea plans to kick off the pilot program next month.

The Bank of Korea plans to close the deal by the end of the month before kicking off the pilot program next month. Market watchers project the deal to be finalized smoothly. According to the report, Ground X had to compete with local online portal giant Naver’s affiliate Line Plus and conglomerate SK Group’s IT services provider SK C&C. Launched in 2018, Ground X operates its own blockchain platform, Klaytn, and signed a technological partnership with Ethereum developer ConsenSys earlier this year. 

CBDC pilot program has been allocated a total of 4.9 billion won. 

The Bank of Korea said earlier that the CBDC pilot program had been allocated a total of 4.9 billion won ($4.4 million). The first stage of the pilot program would focus on research and testing of central bank digital currencies’ fundamental role, which is scheduled to be completed by December. The second stage is centered on more detailed concepts, such as privacy protection. The second stage is slated to wrap up in June 2022. The announcement comes as central banks worldwide have been carrying out tests and studies on central bank digital currency issuance. 

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