South Korean Province Makes Cryptocurrency The Primary Mode of Payment

From a country that was considering imposing a China like blanket ban on crypto merely nine months ago, to a country that is all set to launch its own cryptocurrency, South Korea has come a long way. The government has put their weight behind the launch of a cryptocurrency in one of the provinces in South Korea.

What, when, where?

Gyeongsangbuk , a province in eastern South Korea which dates back to 1896, is going to be at the center of this historical tech revolution that has swept the nation. The government-sanctioned cryptocurrency will be launched in this province, in what is being termed as the latest crypto experiment, being conducted by the officials of a State.  

The crypto coin to be launched will be called Gyeongbuk Coin and will be issued in place of gift cards at all merchants across the province. This new coin will replace the local existing system of payments and will be available for purchase at an exchange. The fourth largest city in South Korea, Daegu, will also make use of this new system of payment. This is a historic move that is sure to inconvenience the common people at first, but shall prove beneficial for the economy of the country in the long term.

How much crypto is too much crypto?

Well for starters, roughly 100 billion won (approximately $100 million) worth of Gyeongbuk Coin is to be issued by the province annually for mass use. The existing payments system called ‘Hometown Love Gift Cards’ was worth the same so there will be no difference in the valuation. .

An exchange will soon be developed by a team of developers, which will be able to offer these coins to residents in exchange of won. Once this process begins, local merchants will accept Gyeongbuk Coin as payment for various goods and services..

Sunghyun Chung, head of science and technology policy department of Gyeongsangbuk-do, said:

“There are still many problems to be solved by notifying merchants of the way they use coins, creating separate programs, and issuing coins. Cryptocurrencies, however, are a core technology to be accepted.”

Most crypto enthusiasts are aware of Zug, the crypto valley located in Switzerland which is a hub of blockchain innovation. Word is that the South Korean developers visited Zug recently, looking to borrow ideas from them and derive inspiration. A member of Gyeongsangbuk’s developers team said:

“I think we can utilize the information we borrowed from Zug City to make blockchain-based Gyeongbuk provincial government ID cards for 5,000 employees.”

It will be interesting to observe how this new system of payments holds up in the province of Gyeongsangbuk.