Busan Cityscape and skyline

Busan digital asset exchange plans to include IP tokenization

South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan, has launched a digital asset exchange as part of its grand plans to establish a blockchain hub.

City officials confirm that the plans to roll out the exchange have reached an advanced stage, with 2024 as a tentative launch date. Busan’s digital exchange will not list digital currencies like BTC or Ethereum (ETH); officials say the platform will allow users to trade tokenized commodities.

“Taking advantage of the strengths of Busan, such as the Busan International Film Festival, the exchange will include tokenization of intellectual property, rights in the film and game fields, as well as gold, precious metals, agricultural and livestock products, ship, and real estate,” said the exchange’s promotion committee.

Described as a fourth-generation blockchain-based exchange, Busan’s offering will be “purely with private capital,” with city administrators confirming that they are searching for operators. Per the statement, officials say they will launch a public offering in October to select an operator for the proposed exchange.

After the selection process, the next stage will involve the incorporation of a business entity before the end of the year. Analysts note that South Korea’s top five digital currency exchanges may throw their hat in the ring to run Busan’s digital asset exchange, but there are reports of a few dark horses angling to be operators.

Although the exchange is expected to be launched using private capital, Busan will play a key role in its operations, pledging “administrative and financial support.” Busan’s administrators noted via the statement that the exchange will operate with high standards to protect investors.

Plans for the exchange began in early 2023, with documents revealing that the exchange system will provide market monitoring services and deposit settlement.

“The city expects that the Busan Digital Asset Exchange will serve as a foundation for expansion in the form of supporting digital assets and security token transactions in the future,” read the document.

Busan’s grand ambitions

Busan has its eyes on Web3 dominance despite the series of tragedies that have rocked the local ecosystem since 2022. The city struck a historic partnership with Huobi designed to improve the city’s blockchain infrastructure to support innovation and improve existing processes.

The deal with Huobi is expected to deepen the existing talent pool in Busan for firms looking to shop in the economic hub. Busan’s officials have expressed optimism that in the coming years, the city will be able to hold its own against industry leaders like Hong Kong and Singapore.

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