South Korea, the country which once thought of introducing a ban on crypto trading in the country seems to have taken a paradigm shift in its approach as Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon recently announced about the plans of capital city Seoul likely to have its own cryptocurrency ‘S-Coin’.
While talking to CoinDesk Korea, Park told that unlike other cryptocurrencies which are traded on crypto indices, the S-Coin will be used in the capital city with the major intent of funding public welfare programs and to even compensate private contractors. Park during his interview also said that the city is looking forward to creating a fund that will support the development of blockchain technology and related startups.
Park said: “As Seoul is the world’s leading city in the field of information and communications, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution, I think we should study new technologies such as blockchains.” He further added that “blockchain can be applied to all bureaucratic administrations in Seoul, such as the public transport system operated by Seoul City and the provision of youth allowance.”
Although Park did not unveil many details on the ‘S-Coin’ cryptocurrency but hinted that it can be used as a payment method for city-funded public welfare programs, or for citizens and young job seekers who are willing to take part in welfare programs like protecting the environment by saving water, gas and electricity.
However, in order to make this happen Park said that some changes need to be made in laws governing cryptocurrencies and added that “in order to make an S-Coin, we need to prepare institutional and legal support such as bylaws.” While commenting on the existing strict policies for digital currencies, Park said that there is a possibility that the government might create a more open environment in the future.
“The last time the Ministry of Justice announced regulatory measures, it was a tremendous resistance, and the government seemed to think deeply about it. First, it is the local government’s task to create cases and models. If the Seoul government releases certain regulations, it will be able to make the model more freely,” said Park.
Park also said that he wants to develop a new blockchain system which is expected to get completed by April. He said: “I’ve met blockchain companies, and I think our companies are not seeing the light because of the various regulations. Actually, [the] technology is as advanced as any other country. By creating clusters that will allow blockchain companies to build up, and startups to develop new technologies, we are working to develop and spread blockchain technology around the world.”
Seoul is probably the first city in Korea in order to create the framework for introducing the blockchain technology. Last year in November 2017, Seoul has hired Samsung SDS to look after an information strategy plan for blockchain-based municipal innovation for the Seoul city by 2022 which will span areas like public safety, welfare and transportations. The aim is to develop transparency for customers using government services.