Busan City Unveils Ambitious Plans to Become a Global Blockchain Hub

Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, is making a bold move to establish itself as a major player in the world of blockchain technology. In an announcement made on September 21st, Busan City unveiled an ambitious plan to build an urban blockchain ecosystem that is compatible with major global blockchain mainnets, including Ethereum and Cosmos. The centerpiece of this initiative is the upcoming Busan Digital Asset Exchange, set to launch in the first half of 2024.

A Unified Blockchain Mainnet

Busan City’s vision for a unified blockchain mainnet is aimed at streamlining and enhancing blockchain-based services within the city. Previously, the city had been engaged in various blockchain projects such as B-Pass and digital vouchers. However, these projects operated on different blockchain mainnets, resulting in a fragmented user experience.

To address this issue, Busan City has embarked on the development of a blockchain mainnet that not only aligns with domestic blockchain technology standards but is also compatible with prominent global mainnets like Ethereum and Cosmos. By doing so, Busan aims to create a seamless and open blockchain environment, echoing the transparency of public blockchains.

Additionally, Busan City has joined hands with the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) to contribute to the establishment of a blockchain trust framework (BTF) technology standard. This initiative seeks to elevate the quality of private services, foster interconnectivity, and even apply these standards to public services within Busan.

The Birth of the Busan Digital Asset Exchange

The focal point of Busan’s blockchain initiative is the forthcoming Busan Digital Asset Exchange Corporation. This exchange, set to launch in November, will be established through a public offering process that will select a suitable business partner in October. The chosen consortium will unveil its detailed business plan at the ‘BWB 2023’ event in November.

While full-scale exchange operations are targeted for the first half of 2024, the initial phase will prioritize blockchain-based transactions of tangible assets rather than virtual assets or token securities (ST). Busan City’s strategy involves tokenizing precious metals such as gold and silver, along with commodities like copper and crude oil. This move is expected to bring transparency and efficiency to the trading of these products, utilizing existing logistics infrastructure and certification systems in Busan.

Future plans include expanding into tokenized trading of global intellectual property rights (IP) and carbon emissions rights, with the ultimate goal of incorporating token securities (ST) into the exchange’s offerings.

Fueling Innovation with the Blockchain Innovation Fund

To support the rapid development of Busan’s blockchain ecosystem, the city has established a Blockchain Innovation Fund (BBF). This private fund, backed by financial and public institutions within Busan, aims to raise over 100 billion won through investments. The fund’s structure includes sub-funds for specific business areas, designed to attract private capital in a fund-of-funds format. An impartial steering committee will oversee fund operations, ensuring a fair and transparent process.

Furthermore, Busan City is laying the groundwork for the ‘Busan Blockchain Alliance (BBA).’ This alliance is poised to bring together businesses that share the vision of turning Busan into a blockchain-centric city. Busan City plans to unveil the list of 100 participating companies at the ‘BWB 2023’ event in November.

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