With the domestic financial industry making a move to introduce blockchain technology as well, Woori Bank is planning to issue its digital currency, tentatively named “WeBee Coin,” by the end of this year. The digital currency will be the first South Korean version of Bitcoin.
Woori Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with blockchain technology firms Dayli Intelligence and The Loop on August 16 to cooperate on developing blockchain and digital coins. Woori Bank plans to test the blockchain technology and test run it at its head store by the end of December. When the bank issues the WeBee Coin, customers who have received the WeBee Coin through cards or smartphone applications can use it like cash at its affiliated stores. The WeBee Coin has a similar concept with store credits. However, it is an innovative attempt because it is digital coins.
As various virtual money including Bitcoin and Ethereum have appeared, Woori Bank plans to dominate the digital coin market in advance by integrating the blockchain technology with its “WeBee Money.” The WeBee Coin will operate via blockchain. However, it is different from other virtual money as it is distributed with electronic prepayment means. Banks will issue digital coins after making up for the shortcomings of Bitcoin and Ethereum that have a high price volatility to allow customers to fully use the face value at banks’ affiliated stores.
Woori Bank will test operate the WeBee Coin at the head store and expand the use of the digital coin by partnering with its affiliated stores and universities and local governments.
An official from Woori Bank said, “We are planning to issue the blockchain-based digital currency by the end of this year and test the charging system.”