South Korea Changes Course and Begins Investigating CBDCs
The central bank of South Korea (BOK) announced this week the launch of a second specialist team to supposedly develop a digital currency central bank (CBDC) a year after dissolving their first group of researchers.
The entity said it will rededicate itself to studying everything related to the creation and implementation of a CBDC, and the formation of the new research group appears to be a direct response to China’s plans to issue a digital yuan.
The announcement surprised the crypto ecosystem as it signifies a turnaround in South Korea . A little less than a year ago, the BOK stated that there was almost no possibility of a CBDC in the country, which is why the cryptocurrency and digital currency research task force was dissolved .
The beginning of 2020, with China’s firm decision to launch its own CBDC, caused the BOK to change its stance on the issue and claim that it is now ” in the process of investigating ” the possible issuance of its digital currency.
The BOK clarified that its team of researchers will be small, with an initial appointment of eight members specialized in areas as varied as IT, human resources, economics and management.
Popular exchange LocalBitcoins has been suspending user accounts in some countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia without notice . As reported by Forbes these weeks, some users can no longer withdraw their bitcoins from the platform, who only communicated that it is due to a “process of improvements.”
The exchange made no further public comment on the matter. The first complaints began to be noticed last week , when LocalBitcoins users in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Pakistan expressed that they could not withdraw their Bitcoins without deleting their accounts.
After the account suspensions, one of the alleged affected users of LocalBitcoins suggested on Reddit that the action should be related to the new European Union law against money laundering (AML), which is known as the 5th Directive against money laundering (5AMLD).
In a January 28 post on Reddit, the affected customer claims that new account users are unable to send Bitcoins they received in their wallets, while customer support is unresponsive “at all.”