Korea’s central bank to hire additional experts to research digital currencies

The Bank of Korea, South Korea’s central bank, is set to recruit additional experts to research digital currencies.

The move is aimed at strengthening the country’s payment and settlement system, the central bank announced Friday in its "Monetary Policy for 2020” document.

The Bank of Korea added that it would continue to build on the research into blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currency (CBDC) to “play an active role as overseer to enhance security of the settlement systems.”

The central bank will also organize a task force dedicated to CBDC research, it added.

Earlier this month, there were reports that the Bank of Korea is hiring digital currency experts. However, an anonymous official from the bank, reportedly said at the time: “This hiring does not presuppose the possibility of issuing a CBDC.”

The Bank of Korea has maintained its position that there is no need to issue a CBDC soon. Earlier this year, the central bank published a study, saying that issuing a CBDC issuance could impact liquidity at commercial banks, among other risks. 

It remains to be seen whether the Bank of Korea changes its stance, given that it is now actively researching digital currencies.  The Block reported yesterday that at least 18 countries are currently developing CBDCs, including China, Singapore and Thailand. The list does not include central banks that have announced they are thinking about issuing digital currencies or researching them.