Samsung is exploring an ‘offline’ digital currency

Samsung is exploring an ‘offline’ digital currency that works with Galaxy phones

A man walks past an ad for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 smartphone at the company's Seocho building in Seoul on Jan. 31, 2023.

Consumer tech giant Samsung is looking into launching a central bank digital currency in collaboration with the Bank of Korea.

The South Korean electronics firm said Monday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s central bank to conduct technical research on the digital currency.

Samsung said such a CBDC, which refers to a digital currency issued by a central bank, would work “offline” and could be sent between owners of its Galaxy smartphone and smartwatches thanks to a secure chip in the devices.

Payments could be made between devices through the use of near-field communication technology, which is built into smartphones to enable contactless payments, Samsung said.

Samsung said it developed a solution applying NFC technology to CBDCs last year. This allowed users to make a payment even when they had no internet connection, the company added.

In a press release Monday, Samsung said the firm, along with the Bank of Korea, would look to “continue researching how to minimize security risks associated with offline payments, to support reliable transactions in emergency situations even without network connections.”

“We are very pleased to be the first central bank to develop offline CBDC technology in partnership with Samsung Electronics,” Seungheon Lee, senior deputy governor at the Bank of Korea, said in a press release.

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