The local government in the South Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk-do has plans to issue its own digital currency to replace a state loyalty scheme.
Gyeongsangbuk-do officials will reportedly partner with the blockchain startup Orbs, to develop and issue ‘Gyeongbuk Coin’ to replace the current ‘Hometown Love Gift Card’ being used by residents. Gyeongbuk Coin will be backed by blockchain technology, although local media reports do not indicate if the state plans to develop its own or use one already developed.
The scheme plans to issue KRW 100 billion worth each year, the same total as that issued in the loyalty scheme. Coins will be bought on an exchange using the South Korean won, and can then be spent at participating businesses using smartphone QR codes.
Chung Sung-Hyun, head of the science and technology policy department in Gyeongsangbuk-do said the main issues still to be addressed include informing merchants on how the digital coins can be used and how the process works, as well as creating separate programs and issuing the coins. On the subject of cryptocurrencies, he described them as a ”core technology to be accepted.”
A forward-thinking country
South Korea is recognized as having some of the most progressive, forward-thinking attitudes towards blockchain globally.
Most recently, the country announced it would host a blockchain awareness hackathon as part of the 2018 Blockchain Promotion Week. Scheduled to take place from 26 to 30 November, the hackathon aims to boost public awareness of blockchain itself and show society and industries its true potential.
A blockchain reality television show is planned to hit the screens in South Korea this October, titled ”Blockbattle: Who’s the next Satoshi?” Five episodes are scheduled to air, following blockchain-experienced applicants and a range of international experts from technology, business, law, marketing, and finance to assist them through the various challenges.
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