South Korea’s Second Largest City to Launch Blockchain-based Digital Currency

Asia Blockchain Review
July 18, 2019

Authorities in South Korea’s second most populous city, Busan, have been considering the launch of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency in partnership with BNK Busan Bank, a subsidiary of local holding company BNK Financial Group.

As reported by Cointelegraph, Busan is developing a crypto project in the form of a stablecoin digital currency, pegged 1:1 to the local fiat currency in the BNK Busan bank account. By issuing a local cryptocurrency, the city hopes to revive the local economy while securing a leading blockchain position.

Establishing a Regulation-Free Blockchain Zone

The move comes as South Korea prepares to establish a regulation-free blockchain zone, for which Busan was chosen as the preferred bidder together with Jeju Province. As part of the designation, Busan would promote blockchain technology across multiple industries and sectors, while also providing a basis for digital assets, including initial coin offerings (ICOs).

In April, the country’s Ministry of Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) and Startups said the government was planning to provide “extensive support” if Busan were to develop its own blockchain-based currency structure or token economy.

Promoting Blockchain Across Multiple Industries

In February, Busan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with blockchain firm Hyundai Pay, with the intention of advancing the industry by contributing to the development of local information and communications technology (ICT) through “mutual growth” with related startups.

The government had previously disclosed plans to invest US$3.5 million in developing a blockchain-backed virtual power plant in Busan. More recently, major local commercial lender KB Kookmin Bank signed a joint agreement with blockchain company Atomrigs Lab on exploring digital asset management and protection solutions.


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