The South Korean city of Seoul has declared its intention to use blockchain technology with several of its administrative duties as from November this year. According to a recent report from local Korean media, South Korea’s capital and the largest city made this announcement during a conference which took place in July.
Where It Began
In October last year, the Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-Soon, declared that the Seoul Metropolitan Government had a five-year plan to create a smart city in Seoul, which would be powered by blockchain. The development was set to cost 123.3 billion Korean Won ($108 million), would be completed by 2022 and would cover 14 public services in five areas. Since then, not a lot has happened and it could seem the city was taken a step back in the creation of its smart city.
Last month, a blockchain workshop which had several government officials, as well as important members of the private sector, was held at the Incheon International Airport Human Resource Development Institute. During the conference, a lot more information regarding the procedure, duration and specific goals, were discussed. The conference was the first major move in the right direction regarding the actualization of the smart city.
Goals before November
It was announced that the city would begin a blockchain points system for residents of Seoul. This system will see S-coins being given out for use on public platforms as part of the points system and these coins will also be redeemable for rewards. Residents can earn S-Coins through public services like paying taxes and also partaking in certain public opinion polls.
Last December, the government of Seoul unveiled ZeroPay, a network payment system that charges little to no processing fees for small merchants. ZeroPay, as it has been announced, will be incorporated with the new blockchain points system.
Another blockchain service apart from the S-Coin or points system was also discussed at the workshop. This service would use blockchain technology to make it very easy for citizens to submit credentials as may be required, without using paper. The Seoul Citizens Card will also be improved with blockchain for easy verification whenever citizens need to use any public services.
Furthermore, a blockchain system for part-time employees was announced as well. This service will make it easy for all temporary employees to sign binding documents with their employers and also properly record work history and duration. This is to facilitate transparency between these temporary employees and all their respective employers.
Other Blockchain Endeavours
The government of Seoul also plans to use blockchain for healthcare, authentication of credentials and also to make donations as transparent as possible. However, these ones do not have a November deadline like the others. All blockchain systems will be owned by the government but run by the private sector.
As part of the announcement last year, the mayor also disclosed that the city will be spending another 60 billion Won (about $53 million at the time) on the erection of two complexes to be completed by 2021. These buildings will house about 200 blockchain start-ups in the city.
Speaking about South Korea and crypto, let us also remind you about the plans of Binance to launch its crypto exchange in South Korea. Last month the company revealed that it needs to find a candidate to work as a Compliance Officer in Seoul.