South Korea is looking at using Samsung smartphones for offline payments via CBDC

Offline CBDC payments using Galaxy smartphones and watches will soon be possible thanks to a partnership between the Bank of Korea and Samsung.

According to a news statement from the Bank of Korea on May 15, the two institutions formalized their intent to work together on a study of offline central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) by signing a memorandum of understanding.

Samsung took part in the Bank of Korea’s ‘CBDC simulation research’ last year, which was in its second phase. As part of the research, Samsung created offline CBDC payment technology that uses near-field communication (NFC) to facilitate the transfer of funds across devices. In other words, the technology enables people to send and receive CBDC payments even when they don’t have access to the internet.

The Bank of Korea and Samsung are working together to make it possible to make CBDC payments using Galaxy smartphones and watches even when they’re not connected to the internet. Since Samsung smartphones already come equipped with a Secure Element (eSE) processor, this could alleviate some of the public’s worries regarding the safety of offline payments. According to Samsung, this processor has been awarded the prestigious EAL (assessment Assurance Level) 6+ grade by the worldwide common assessment standard for cybersecurity.

Samsung and the Korean central bank will also keep investigating disaster-proof payment methods that can function in the absence of internet access.

The VP of Development for Samsung Electronics’ MX Business Division, Choi Won-Joon, made the following statement:

“Samsung Electronics’ cutting-edge security technology was successfully implemented in the cryptocurrency sector thanks to a joint effort with the Bank of Korea.”

This current turn of events follows comments made by Bank of Korea governor Rhee Chang-yong in December 2022, in which he expressed doubts about the value of CBDCs as a result of the year’s crypto market volatility.

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