South Korea is leading an example of being the world’s most hospitable regions for crypto and blockchain entrepreneurs.
The world’s eleventh-largest economy has committed a $100 million fund to develop its capital Seoul as a center of blockchain innovation. Park Won-soon, the third-time governor of Seoul, during his visit to Switzerland’s Zug last week, revealed that their government would launch a Blockchain Urban Plan for 2018-2022. The plan will begin with the construction of two business complexes in Seoul’s western and southeastern districts to accommodate 200 crypto and blockchain companies. The specialized blockchain zone will also feature two training centers that will nurture 730 experts in the field.
Solid Roadmap of Blockchain Development
The Blockchain Urban Plan will also witness the implementation of blockchain in Seoul’s 14 public services in five areas. Park confirmed that they would begin by innovating labor welfare, vehicle history management, certification issuance, donation management, and elections voting.
The mayor explained, for instance, those part-time workers who don’t have work insurance or labor contracts will be able to register themselves via a blockchain application. Other participants in the labor management, including welfare organizations and insurance companies, will participate as running nodes on the ledger. They will efficiently utilize the workers’ information for sharing over their distributed network, as well as for deciding on insurance schemes.
“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,” Park added.
Regulatory Hibernation in Other Regions
Park’s recent trip to Switzerland’s crypto valley Zug also marks his efforts to import offshore blockchain startups to Seoul. It is visible that the government and regulators in South Korea are putting in collective efforts to make their capital a global blockchain hub. Especially in times when crypto startups in the world’s largest economies are facing regulatory hibernation.
The US, for instance, is looking at a potential mass exodus of the local blockchain industry in absent of unclear crypto regulations and mounting crackdowns by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In September, more than 50 stakeholders from crypto and finance industry met lawmakers in Washington to discuss the similar issues.
India, the world’s sixth largest economy, has also pushed the local crypto industry into a court battle with their central bank following a bank ban. The South Asian country, which has launched ambitious startup schemes under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has ironically gone mum over crypto, an industry featuring some of the most promising startups. As a result, many local companies are moving outside India looking for better places to launch their blockchain services.
South Korea’s Financial Services Agency, on the other hand, has shown a mature metamorphosis from a concerned financial regulator to a liberal financial regulator. The watchdog launched a dedicated Financial Innovation Bureau to oversee and nurture the crypto sector as part of their fourth industrial revolution. The efforts are now evident with their politicians’ visits to other crypto hubs and dedicating taxpayer money to built similar facilities in Seoul.
The government of South Korea – with support from the country’s financial regulator – is endorsing crypto and blockchain like no other region, indeed.