Tech giant Samsung Electronics has recently partnered with South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea (BOK), to research central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline payments. The collaboration aims to explore the potential of using CBDCs issued by the central bank for conducting remittances and payments offline, specifically utilizing near-field communication (NFC) technology on Samsung mobile devices. This strategic partnership between Samsung and the BOK marks a significant step in advancing the development of offline CBDC technology.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Samsung and the BOK was signed on May 15, solidifying their commitment to jointly research the capabilities of CBDCs in offline transactions. The collaboration builds upon Samsung’s participation in the BOK’s CBDC simulation experiment research, where the company was involved in the second phase focusing on the retail use of CBDCs. During the initial BOK’s CBDC research stage, fundamental functions such as issuance, distribution, and redemption were tested.
What does this collab mean?
Samsung’s involvement in this research partnership allows the tech giant to leverage its expertise in high-level security technology and apply it to the digital currency field. Samsung Electronics Vice President Won-Joon Choi expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating that it has the potential to make a significant contribution to the global development of offline CBDC technology. By combining the BOK’s knowledge and authority in monetary policy with Samsung’s technological prowess, the partnership aims to unlock new possibilities for CBDC adoption and usage.
One of the key objectives of the research collaboration is to explore the integration of NFC technology into Samsung mobile devices for CBDC transactions. NFC enables secure and contactless communication between devices, making it an ideal technology for offline payments using CBDCs. By leveraging Samsung’s hardware capabilities and the BOK’s CBDC issuance framework, the partners aim to establish a robust and secure infrastructure for offline CBDC transactions. The successful implementation of NFC-based CBDC payments on Samsung devices could potentially revolutionize the way digital currencies are used in everyday transactions.
As part of the collaboration, Samsung has obtained hardware certification for security international common criteria evaluation assurance level six grade. This certification demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to maintaining the highest level of security and adhering to stringent standards in the digital currency space. The evaluation assurance level system consists of seven levels of security functional requirements, and Samsung’s achievement of level six underscores its dedication to protecting user assets and ensuring the integrity of CBDC transactions.
The research collaboration between Samsung and the BOK comes at a time when central banks worldwide are exploring the potential of CBDCs. These digital currencies hold the promise of greater efficiency, transparency, and financial inclusion. By researching and developing offline CBDC capabilities, Samsung and the BOK are addressing one of the key challenges in CBDC adoption: the need for reliable and accessible digital payment solutions, even in offline environments.