South Korean Province Of Gyeongsangbuk-do To Issue Own Cryptocurrency

News | August 31, 2018 By:

The South Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to issue its own cryptocurrency to replace the local currencies of its nine cities.

Gyeongsangbuk-do, also known as Gyeongbuk, wants to replace city-issued gift certificates with a cryptocurrency called Gyeongbuk Coin, which will be made available for purchase at an exchange and will be usable at merchants across the province. Currently, 60 municipalities nationwide, including nine cities in Gyeongsangbuk-do, use gift certificates as local currencies aimed at revitalizing local economies and preventing capital flight.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology Policy of Gyeongsangbuk-do, 10 banks, mobile communication companies, a university research team and government officials of Gyeongsangbuk-do will gather for the first time for the issuance of the Gyeongbuk Coin. The local government said that the first of the 100 billion won ($90M USD) annual issuance is expected in the first half of 2019.

The province will create an exchange where residents of Gyeongsangbuk-do and its surrounding areas can buy Gyeongbuk Coin with traditional fiat. Local merchants will be able to accept the coins as payment for their goods and services using smartphone QR codes.

“There are still many issues to be resolved…[such as] notifying merchants of the way they can use [the] coins, creating separate programs and issuing [the] coins (cryptocurrencies),” Chung Sung-hyun, head of the province’s Science and Technology Policy Department.

The news came after South Korea’s Jeju island proposed that the central government designate the island as “a special zone for blockchain and cryptocurrency” to allow companies to conduct initial coin offerings (ICO).

“If Jeju Island is designated as a blockchain special zone, international standards and regulations on cryptocurrency should be created to ensure that blockchain and crypto companies that are promoting sound businesses both domestically and abroad can conduct businesses in the province,” said Jeju province Governor Won Hee-ryong.