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Samsung to Research South Korea’s CBDC for Offline Payments

Samsung Electronics, the renowned tech giant, has formed a strategic partnership with the central bank of South Korea to explore the potential of central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline transactions. This collaboration between Samsung and the Bank of Korea (BOK) was solidified through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on May 15, as reported by local media outlet KBS World.

The primary focus of this joint effort will be to investigate the offline functionalities of the CBDC issued by the central bank. To this end, Samsung actively participated in the second phase of the BOK’s 10-month CBDC simulation experiment research, specifically concentrating on the retail use cases of CBDCs. In the initial BOK’s CBDC research stage, fundamental aspects such as issuance, distribution, and redemption were examined.

The latest MOU aims to evaluate the feasibility of conducting offline remittances and payments using near-field communication (NFC) on Samsung mobile devices rather than internet connectivity. Won-Joon Choi, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for applying its advanced security technology to the field of digital currencies. He further emphasized the potential impact of this collaboration, stating, “Through the cooperation between our two companies, we anticipate making significant contributions to the development of global offline CBDC technology.”

As part of this partnership, Samsung has reportedly obtained hardware certification for security international common criteria evaluation assurance level six grade, encompassing a comprehensive set of security requirements across seven levels.

However, it is worth noting that Samsung recently banned using generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, on all Samsung-owned devices and internal networks. This decision came in response to an incident where an employee uploaded sensitive code onto the platform. In an internal memo addressing the matter, Samsung highlighted the importance of reviewing security measures to establish a secure environment that supports the responsible utilization of generative AI to enhance productivity and efficiency.

It is noteworthy that several banking giants, including JPMorgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup, have also imposed restrictions on using generative AI tools in light of security concerns.

In conclusion, Samsung’s collaboration with the Bank of Korea signifies a significant step toward exploring the potential of CBDCs for offline payments. By leveraging Samsung’s expertise in security technology, this partnership has the potential to drive the development of global offline CBDC technology and contribute to the evolution of digital currencies.


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