Busan cityscape

South Korea’s Busan to launch digital asset exchange by end of 2023: report

South Korea’s second largest city Busan has announced that it will be setting up a decentralized digital commodities exchange which authorities say will be distinct from the existing platforms in the country.

City officials and the Busan Digital Asset Exchange Establishment Promotion Committee made the disclosure after a preliminary meeting at the Yeouido Marriott Hotel. Both parties confirmed that the digital commodity exchange would be launched sometime in 2023, designed to be an incubation ground for digitizing local cultural content, news outlet News 1 reported.

The committee added that it would be launching a corporation for the platform while developments for the platform are scheduled to begin in February.

“Taking advantage of the strengths of Busan, such as the Busan International Film Festival, G-Star; [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, ships, real estate, etc.,” the committee said.

Upon launch, the exchange system will offer deposit settlement and market monitoring services and will allow for proper listing evaluations. The exchange’s functionalities have been divided into separate units akin to the country’s securities trading system to ensure checks and balances.

City officials state that its end goal is to create a thriving jurisdiction for virtual currency service providers that can compete favorably with Singapore and Abu Dhabi. To achieve this, regulators say they are working on establishing rules for special regulatory-free zones to complement existing national laws.

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

Busan’s steady march in the virtual currency ecosystem

Busan has been making serious inroads in its quest to be a leading hub for virtual currencies in Asia. The earliest foray into the ecosystem for Busan was in 2019 when plans to launch a city-based digital currency reached a heightened peak.

Although the plans were scuttled, the city forged a partnership with Huobi to “foster the growth of its blockchain ecosystem” as it looked to move several government processes to distributed ledgers.

The metaverse is another area that has caught the attention of Busan, with the city using virtual worlds to promote its bid to host the 2030 World Expo. Busan’s digital asset drive is not the first in the country, as other South Korean cities are also taking significant strides with distributed ledger technology (DLT).

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