Chang Yong Rhee: Central bank digital currency - what we have learned from a recent hands-on experiment

Keynote address by Mr Chang Yong Rhee, Governor of the Bank of Korea, at the IMF-Singapore Regional Training Institute (STI) Peer-Learning Webinar, 28 September 2022.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
28 October 2022


I would like to thank Director Schipke and the IMF-STI for hosting this webinar series and inviting me to speak here today. It is also great to see Governor Talukder and my old colleagues at the Fund Deputy Managing Director Sayeh, Ann-Marie, Raul and others. Today I would like to speak about the recent CBDC experiment at the Bank of Korea.

Supported by accelerated digitalization and technological innovation, the landscape for payment and settlement systems has been changing rapidly. And this has led interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to grow considerably. Currently, 105 countries are exploring CBDC issuance. What is noteworthy is that nine emerging market economies including the Bahamas have already made an official launch of their CBDC, while central banks in major economies are still at the stage of laying the groundwork for their own digital currency.

CBDCs could promote financial inclusion by serving as a gateway to wider access to financial services. This explains why CBDCs are issued first in emerging market economies. And we have come together today to discuss fintech and financial inclusion particularly through the strategy and efforts of Bangladesh. As for Korea, however, financial inclusion is not a key factor for considering potentially issuing a CBDC, as bank account penetration is almost 100% and various digital payment services are already well-developed.