South Korea: Central Bank Publishes Book on CBDC Legal Considerations

South Korea’s plans for its experimental central bank digital currency (CBDC) project also includes efforts to contribute to the expanding body of knowledge dedicated to sovereign digital currencies. Meanwhile, with many CBDC pursuits cropping up across the globe, some commentators say cross-compatibility will determine which national digital currencies will succeed.

BOK Publishes CBDC Book

According to the English service of South Korean media outlet Arirang, the Bank of Korea (BOK) has published a book detailing the legal issues associated with CBDCs. As part of the book, the country’s central bank argued for significant legislative amendments that will create an enabling environment for sovereign digital currencies to flourish.

The book publication is coming amid plans by the BOK to run CBDC experiments in 2021. Indeed as previously reported by BTCManager, the country’s central bank announced back in October 2020 that it was nearing the final stages of its CBDC pilot test.

Commenting on its CBDC plans for the year, the BOK remarked:

“The Bank of Korea is conducting an analysis of operational procedures for a CBDC rollout, and outside consulting is also underway. This year, we’re going to launch a CBDC pilot system in a virtual environment, and run tests to verify its functions and safety.”

For the BOK, transitioning from cash to digital currency could offer some significant economic incentives including a positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth as high as three percent, adding: “Digitalization of currency would accelerate currency circulation and reduce maintenance costs. It would also be an efficient way to realize negative interest rates, overall enhancing the government’s monetary management.”

With China already making significant advances with its own digital currency electronic payment, the BOK is looking to not get left behind. However, its plans are only geared towards experimental exploration of CBDC protocols and not the creation of an actual digital Won.

China’s CBDC testing continues to gather steam will multiple airdrops occurring in different cities. India is reportedly set to introduce a new bill for CBDCs while banning private cryptocurrencies.

In Europe, Ukraine partnered with Stellar back in January to develop its own CBDC while Turkey’s central bank says it is hopeful to conduct a sovereign digital currency pilot in 2021.

CBDCs are yet to make a splash on the African continent but in North America, the coronavirus pandemic is reportedly forcing Canada to fast-track its digital currency research programs.

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Bitcoin price hits $46,794 as altcoins, stocks rally to new highs

On Feb. 8 Bitcoin (BTC) price broke out to a new all-time high at $46,794 after documents from Tesla revealed that the company had allocated 7.7% of its gross cash position to BTC. The purchase gives Tesla a sizable $1.5 billion position in the top-ranked digital asset. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows Bitcoin is currently up by 18.5% and trading near $46,000. Meanwhile, the majority of altcoins and DeFi tokens have also surged to notch double-digit gains for the day.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

While some analysts are speculating on which large company will be the next to jump on the Bitcoin train, Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities analyst Paul Steves thinks that Apple will be the next institutional player to join the trend. According to Steves, if Apple were to launch a crypto exchange or buy Bitcoin, it could lead to an estimated $40 billion in annual revenue.

Bitcoin’s bullish price action came at a crucial time for BTC which had seen a decline in overall sentiment in recent days as the price struggled to break above the $38,000 level.

BTC price vs. 30-day avg. sentiment score. Source: TheTIE

Dogecoin (DOGE) also broke out as bulls pushed the popular meme coin to a new all-time high at $0.0839. This move came shortly after Mark Cuban gave a nod of approval by calling the altcoin the “best entertainment bang for your buck available” in the crypto market.

Cardano (ADA) price rose to a new mulit-year high at $0.72, an increase of 100% since Feb. 1, after the successful testnet implementation of smart contracts and the potential of future DeFi integration boosted investors’ outlook for the project.

Traditional markets lift on optimism surrounding further stimulus payments

Investor optimism involving the possibility of a new round of stimulus from the U.S. government, including direct payments of $1,400 and a tax credit of $3,000 per child, helped bolster the traditional markets on Monday.

The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ all established new record highs, closing the day up 0.74%, 0.76% and 0.94% respectively. The past six trading days have marked the longest winning streak for the S&P 500 since August 2020, and the Dow has experienced its best start to February since 1931, rising 4.7% so far this month.

Altcoins soar as Bitcoin breaks out

Altcoins also benefited from BTC bullish momentum and many rallied by double-digits and standouts like Terra (LUNA) and BitTorrent gained in excess of 100%.

Polkadot (DOT) rallied 20.23% to a new high at $23.27, while Elrond (EGLD) gained 40.7% in the last 24-hours to establish a new all-time high at $191.73. Theta (THETA) also rallied 25.55% to set a new high at $2.86.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.32 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 62.9%.