South Korea's central bank, the Bank of Korea, has formed a legal advisory group to evaluate issues surrounding a potential central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) launch.

According to a press release the central bank issued earlier today, the group includes six experts, namely three professors, two lawyers and one BOK official. 

The panel will reportedly operate until May 2020, although the BOK’s CBDC plans are not set in stone. 

Notably, back in April the central bank launched a 22 month-long pilot scheme to assess the logistics of issuing a CBDC, meaning that the program will operate longer than the newly appointed legal advisory group. 

The April announcement stressed that the BOK does not see an immediate need to release a CBDC in South Korea, but wishes to be prepared in case the government decides to go ahead and introduce a digital won.

Digital yuan will most likely outrace a digital won 

A recent article from South Korean news outlet Yonhap suggests that local merchants are ready to accept CBDCs, even ones issued by foreign central banks. 

Specifically, the article stressed that domestic retailers have been increasingly considering taking advantage of China’s upcoming digital currency, the digital yuan, once the coronavirus-related travel restrictions lift and Chinese tourists come back to South Korea.

In a recent interview with Cointelegraoh, Glenn Woo, Ledger Vault’s head of the Asia-Pacific region, predicted that China’s state-backed virtual currency will be the first to launch worldwide.