Korean central bank launches blockchain and AI department

South Korea’s central bank is stepping up its efforts in digitizing the economy, launching a new department dedicated to emerging technologies. The new department will focus on blockchain, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

The Bank of Korea revealed recently that it will be launching the ‘Digital Innovations’ department. As per a report by local outlet In The News, the department will not only implement new digital technologies, but also expand the existing digital infrastructure.

The department will have a number of teams that will focus on various sectors, including data service and innovation, the report states.

However, the main focus will be on artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. The East Asian country has been a global leader in both blockchain adoption and regulation. A week ago, President Moon Jae-in unveiled a new blueprint for the digitalization of the country’s economy. Known as the Korea New Deal, it pledged to channel $48 billion to blockchain, AI, big data and 5G technologies.

The Bank of Korea has also been playing its part in blockchain adoption. As CoinGeek reported in May, the regulator published a report that revealed it was eying a CBDC launch. While the report focused on overseas CBDC developments, it shed a light into the possibility of similar developments in Korea, a country that’s increasingly turning to digital payments.

South Korea is also seeking to launch a blockchain-powered free trade zone. The country will be using the technology to track its hemp products along the production and supply chains.

The blockchain push hasn’t been relegated to the government exclusively, with the private sector being at the forefront in blockchain innovation and adoption. One of the private sector leaders is Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone maker. Samsung’s blockchain solutions have extended to supply chain management, decentralized identity, digital payments, blockchain infrastructure and more.

Other Korean companies championing blockchain adoption include KT, SK Telecom, LG and Kakao.

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