Italy and South Korea central banks agree on CBDC cooperation

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Italy and South Korea central banks agree on CBDC cooperation



The Bank of Italy announced on Dec. 5 through its official channels that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of Korea – South Korea’s central bank- regarding IT and payment systems. 

According to the Italian central bank, this memorandum of understanding will entail the “mutual sharing of knowledge and information” when it comes to information and communication technology (ICT) issues.

Particularly, it mentioned ICT issues related to real-time settlement systems and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The announcement said the meeting was attended by the general manager of the Bank of Italy, Luigi Federico Signorini, who signed off on the agreement.

Related: UK House of Commons recommends further CBDC tests on viability, risks

Throughout the last year both countries have been exploring CBDCs, though with different approaches. 

In Italy, the central bank has mainly been focusing on interoperability in its solutions for settling distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based transactions via hash linked contracts, rather than a wholesale CBDC approach as is the case with other European countries.

Meanwhile South Korea has already begun to pilot its CBDC infrastructure technology as of October of this year. Its pilot includes both private banks and public institutions with the technical support being provided through Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

In November, South Korea announced that it will invite 100,000 citizens to test its CBDC beginning in 2024.

Although many governments are moving forward with plans to introduce CBDCs, there remains staunch opposition to the digital currencies. One German politician recently told Cointelegraph that she is a “staunch opponent” of the European Union’s digital euro and believes that CBDCs are an invasion of privacy.

In the United States, many public figures have come out against the U.S.’s own CBDC. The podcast host even went so far as to say that CBDCs will mean “checkmate” and “game over.”

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