Banca d’Italia, Italy’s central bank, announced through official channels on December 5th that it has signed a preliminary agreement with the Bank of Korea, South Korea’s central bank, on payment systems. According to the Italian central bank, the preliminary agreement was signed for mutual information and communication technology (ICT) sharing.
Italy and South Korea Take a Critical Step
The agreement signed between Banca d’Italia and the Bank of Korea is based on ICT topics related to real-time payment systems and central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Luigi Federico Signorini, the Director General of Banca d’Italia, also attended the public meeting and signed the agreement.
Both countries have taken notable steps regarding CBDCs throughout the past year, albeit with different approaches. Banca d’Italia continues to conduct research and studies on distributed ledger technology (DLT) based transactions through hash-linked contracts, rather than adopting a CBDC approach under the framework of the European Union like other European countries.
Additionally, South Korea has started a pilot application for CBDC infrastructure technology in October. The pilot program includes both private banks and public institutions, with technical support provided through the Bank for International Settlements. In November, South Korea announced that it would invite 100,000 citizens to the CBDC pilot test phase starting from 2024.
Interest in CBDC Projects Continues
While many governments are taking steps to introduce CBDC projects, strict sanctions against cryptocurrencies continue. A German politician recently stated that the European Union is a loyal opponent of the digital euro project and believes that CBDC projects violate privacy.
In the United States, many well-known individuals in their respective fields have opposed the country’s CBDC project. According to them, CBDC projects would be like a checkmate or game over, causing significant debates within the crypto community.