Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, says the city plans to become a mega blockchain hub. The South Korean capital is set to unveil a five-year development plan as well as an investment fund dedicated to the emerging technology.
Blockchain Industrial Complex
According to Yonhap News Agency, Park announced the city administration’s plans in Zug, the capital of blockchain technology development in Switzerland. Commenting on the proposed project, the Seoul mayor said:
There’s no doubt blockchain is the core technology of the fourth industrial revolution, which will shape the future IT industry. I will make efforts to help Seoul become the center of a blockchain industry ecosystem.
Part of the plan includes the establishment of two business hubs in Gaepo and Mapo. These hubs will house over 200 blockchain-based firms as well as a couple of training centers. Park says the training centers should produce at least 700 decentralized technology experts within the next five years.
At Gaepo, which is in the south-eastern part of the city, there are plans to construct a 600 square meter complex. According to Mayor Park, by 2021, there will also be a 13,000 square meter Seoul Global Block Center which will accommodate over 100 companies.
Apart from the blockchain complex initiative, the city also plans to create a 100 billion won ($89 million) investment fund. The purpose of the fund is to support the training and development of talents in the industry. The blockchain fund will be established via public-private partnerships.
Presently, the city has struck partnerships with both Ground X and Samsung SDS. Ground X is the blockchain subsidiary of Kakao, the South Korean internet giant.
Seoul Adopting Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology
Earlier in the year, city administrators announced that they were considering floating a cryptocurrency called “S-coin.” At the time, the S-coin was to be used as a payment means for welfare programs and even for subway tickets.
In South Korea as a whole, the government has slowly moved away from a mostly negative stance towards cryptocurrency and blockchain towards a nuanced regulatory environment. Some lawmakers in the country have repeatedly called for a reversal of the ICO ban imposed by the government.
For their part, the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) has taken steps towards a better understanding of the emerging industry. In July, the body announced the establishment of an exclusive blockchain division tasked with creating governing policies for blockchain regulation.
Will Seoul’s blockchain adoption plans establish the city as a global hub for blockchain technology development? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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