CryptoCity: Seoul Mayor Plans $100 Million To Build Blockchain Smart City

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Blockchain technology that enables cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will also enable Smart Cities, and Seoul, South Korea will be a test lab. Blockchain technology can be used for any conceivable type of transaction, from parking tickets to real estate transactions. ⁃ TN Editor

Park Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul, has revealed a five-year plan to invest $108 million to develop the South Korean capital as a smart city powered by blockchain.

In a speech during his visit to Zurich, Park announced last week that his Blockchain Urban Plan for 2018–2022 will cover 14 public services in five areas, with a government budget totaling 123.3 billion Korean won (around $108 million), according to a CoinDesk Korea report on Thursday.

Park added that major public services that will adopt blockchain include labor welfare, vehicle history management, certification issuance, donation management and elections voting.

The mayor explained, for instance, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will use the technology to protect part-time workers who don’t have labor contracts or are not covered by employment insurance.

These workers will be able to register via a blockchain application that will be developed as part of the plan. After that, labor welfare organizations and insurance companies, which participate as running nodes, could share workers’ information over a distributed network and decide on insurance schemes, the report said.

Park also indicated his administration aims to spend another 60 billion won, or about $53 million, building two complexes by 2021 to house 200 blockchain startups by utilizing parts of the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park and Mapo Seoul Startup Hub.

The plan comes just months after Park won the re-election campaign as Seoul’s mayor in June. As CoinDesk previously reported, Park pledged as part of his campaign at the time that he would increase support for blockchain development in Seoul by developing the city’s Mapo district as a center for blockchain incubation.

Seoul’s blockchain effort is also in line with the roadmap announced by South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, which said in June it would invest $9 million in the coming years to lead blockchain adoption in six major public services.

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