South Korean Central Bank Considering Crypto and Blockchain for a Cashless Society

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Seoul, South Korea –The Bank of Korea (BOK) recently announced that it is considering cryptocurrency and blockchain applications for its “cashless society” project, as reported by TokenPost on May 1.

Based on the report, BOK announced the official launch of its cash-free society model in its “2017 Payment Report” on Tuesday. The report revealed that the BOK has started studying the possible uses of blockchain and cryptocurrency, like using blockchains and passwords to payments.

Furthermore, the bank also established a team for researching and analyzing digital currency and its possible effects on the overall financial system.

The main goal of this project is to provide customer convenience and reduce the cost of physical currency production. South Korea was reported to have spent KRW 53.7 billion ($47 million) on physical currency production in 2016.

The South Korean government also eyes on using the initiative to open the underground economy, which is mostly cash-driven. Shinhan Investment Corp. Kwak Hyun-soo said in a statement:

“It can open the underground economy, and thus enhance equivalence in taxation. The shoe box full of 50,000 won banknotes that you see in movies will disappear in reality (with the advancement of a cashless society).”

The Korea Times reported that the South Korean government had started considering phasing out physical money in 2016 and move towards a “cash-free society” by 2020.

The BOK launched a cashless society trial in 2017 where customers were able to deposit small change from transactions and put them on a prepaid or mobile card to use at department stores, discount stores and convenience stores.

Last week, Bithumb, South Korea’s largest crypto exchange, was reportedly pushing for the adoption of digital currencies in the country. Bithumb aims to grow into a bank-like business to make the use of cryptocurrency in daily life more intuitive.

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