The City of Seoul Will Create a Cryptocurrency for Citizen Rewards

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will establish its first blockchain-based administrative services in November, according to a report in the Korean-language blockinpress.

At a conference held last month and attended by city officials and representatives of the private sector, specifics of the roll out were discussed, with timelines and goals established. The meeting seemed to revive an initiative that had lost some momentum since first being announced late last year.

Three priorities were set for completion by the November deadline. The city’s blockchain points system will be introduced and residents of Seoul will receive S-coins for the use of public services. They will be able to redeem those points for rewards. Services that generate the coins include paying taxes and participating in public opinion polls.

Seoul’s point system will integrated with ZeroPay, a city-government sponsored QR-code-enabled network established last December. It allows customers to pay for goods and services using their phones and does not charge merchants commissions.

In addition to the S-coin, a blockchain service for submitting qualifications without paper documents is also on the list for completion by November, as is the enhancing of the Seoul Citizens Card with blockchain to enable digital authentication for the use of public services.

By the end of the year Seoul would like to have its part-time workers rights program up and running. The blockchain-based system will allow part-time and temporary employees to sign simple contracts with employers, keep track of their work histories, and maintain time sheets. It will also help them properly register for the county’s four major social insurance programs. The aim is to improve trust and relations between small companies and part-time workers.

Other programs mentioned but not with year-end completion deadlines include smart healthcare, donation management and online certificate verification.

While the blockchain services will be controlled by the city, they will be operated by private enterprises.

Seoul has been discussing the implementation of a blockchain strategy for some time. Mayor Park Won-soon has campaigned on a promise to implement relevant solutions for the city, and the Blockchain City Seoul Promotion Plan was announced last October.

When it was introduced, 14 blockchain administrative projects and a 2022 completion date were mentioned. A total of 127.3 billion won ($105 million) was to be committed to the plan.

Since then, very little has happened in terms of actual progress. The July meeting was the first tangible sign that anything material is in the works.

Image via Shutterstock.

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