As blockchain developments continue to take the world by storm, South Korea appears to be leading the charge in the area of innovation and adoption. Seoul has successfully managed to combine high tech ingenuity with its rich local culture; the city is already a world leader in IT, so it is only logical that they push for development in the blockchain sector.
Seoul Blockchain Initiative
Based on reports from Yonhap news, Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has rolled out a five-year plan to help accelerate the development of the blockchain industry within the city. Seoul blockchain project has been named “Blockchain City of Seoul,” and it is slated to begin this year. The project will entail actionable steps for developing and promoting blockchain-related educational programs and other initiatives all around the city.
The details of the project were explained by Park while giving a speech at a blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland. Park is a firm believer in the practicality and usefulness of distributed ledger based technologies. He is of the opinion that blockchain is “the core technology of the fourth industrial revolution,” which will be the basis for the future of IT. With the new plan in place, his vision is for Seoul to become “the center of a blockchain industry ecosystem.”
The Blockchain City of Seoul
The development of the blockchain-based industry in Seoul will include the creation of business infrastructure to facilitate efficient operations and the provision of funds for blockchain startups. According to the city authorities, 60.3 billion won ($53 million) will be spent in 2021 to assist in the creation of business centers that will house 200 blockchain firms. The Seoul administration has recognized that innovation in blockchain development will require education and has stated that two of its upcoming business complexes will operate educational centers which will aim to train and produce 730 blockchain experts within the next five years. These business complexes will be located in the southern and western parts of the city.
Local blockchain startups are projected to benefit immensely from the initiative, as the city plans to create a public-private fund totaling up to 100 billion won ($88 million) to invest in these distributed ledger technology startups by 2022. The fund will get 13.6 billion won ($11.9 million) from Seoul’s government.
ZDNet Korea has reported that Park also intends to integrate blockchain technology into the fabric of the city’s administration. The city’s authorities have set plans in motion to begin the launch of 14 blockchain-powered systems including charity management, vehicle history report system, and a voting system.
South Korea: a Leader in Blockchain Development
In the second quarter of 2018, South Korean authorities unveiled a plan to accelerate the development of eight sectors of its domestic economy. This plan will see an investment of a whopping $4.4 billion invested into blockchain technology by next year. To keep up with its reputation as a global IT leader, South Korea’s local government has committed to a 65% increase in the amount of funds spent on areas such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (A.I), and big data. The country has been pursuing several blockchain projects, while its lawmakers have called for the implementation of crypto/blockchain friendly regulations and legalization of ICOs to attract more investors and entrepreneurs, and encourage further advancement in the blockchain space. These moves by South Korea have led many experts to hail the country as the world’s most welcoming nation for blockchain development.