Gyeongsangbuk-do, a province in eastern South Korea has unveiled plans to replace the local currency with a cryptocurrency, as reported by the daily Joongang Ilbo.
Currencies weren’t the only target, city-issued gift certificates in Gyeongsangbuk-do were also attempted to be replaced with digital currencies. Only nine cities within the province, also referred to as Gyeongbuk, offer the gift certificates service, which are in the local currency.
Naver reported that around 60 municipalities, including the nine in Gyeongsangbuk-do use gift certificates as local fiat currencies with the purpose of simulating the local economy and preventing migration of essential capital.
The Science and Technology Policy Department announced earlier this week on August 27:
“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 cryptocurrency”
Enter the Gyeongbuk Coin
Gyeongbuk Coin is the unsettled name given to the revolutionary cryptocurrency that will be used in the Gyeongsangbuk-do province, the first cycle of the 100 billion won ($90 million approx.) yearly issuance is expected in the first half of 2019.
To administer the crypto issuance, the province plans to establish an exchange where the coins can be bought and sold. QR codes on one’s smartphones can be used to facilitate payments, which will be accepted by the city’s merchants.
“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)” said the head of the province’s Science and Technology Policy Department, Chung Sung-hyun.
Zug, a canton in Switzerland, which is an abode to a plethora of cryptocurrency start-ups like Shapeshift, Xapo and the Ethereum Foundation was visited by a team from Gyeongsangbuk-do to better understand the implementation of their plan. The team was a mixture of government officials, local businessmen and experts of the field, totaling 10 members.
After a run of several informative meeting between the two parties, an official from the South-Korean province was quoted remarking, “I think we can utilize the experience gained through benchmarking by making the identity cards for 5,000 Gyeongbuk provincial government employees like Zug as blockchain-based digital ID cards.”
Image via Shutterstock
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