Tech

Rebecca Asseh

Mayor reveals $108M plan for blockchain smart city in Seoul

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon is planning to invest KRW123.3 billion ($108 million) to turn the South Korean capital into a blockchain-powered smart city, CoinDesk reported.

During his visit to Zurich, Park revealed his five-year Blockchain Urban Plan, which will cover 14 public services in five major areas—election voting, labour welfare, vehicle history management, donation management, and certification issuance.

According to the official, the technology can be utilized to protect part-time workers who are not covered by employment insurance. Park revealed his blockchain smart city plans several months after winning his re-election bid in June. It would be recalled that during the election campaign, Park made a commitment to support blockchain startups via the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park and Mapo Seoul Startup Hub. He also promised to increase support for blockchain development in Seoul by developing the city’s Mapo district as a centre for blockchain incubation.

Park pointed the complexities the blockchain would solve for the metropolitan city, saying, “There are about 1.15 million people in Seoul who receive various welfare funds, like basic pensions, welfare support for those with disabilities and more. The paperwork can be complicated because one needs to submit information about one’s background and identification to various governmental agencies to receive welfare support.”

However, Park is confident that blockchain technology would pave the way for individuals to share their data securely and with less paperwork.

Seoul’s blockchain blueprint is also in line with the plans of the South Korean government. Earlier in June, the South Korean Ministry of ICT had announced that it would invest $9 million following years to lead blockchain adoption in six major public services. Park also revealed that his administration will spend an additional KRW60 billion ($53 million) by 2021 in building two complexes that will house 200 blockchain startups at the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park and Mapo Seoul Startup Hub.

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