The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) aims to invest a total of KRW 120 billion to gain an upper hand in the blockchain industry. The city also plans to build startup centers for blockchain companies, create an investment fund, and nurture talented professionals.
On October 3rd (local time), Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul, announced the "Seoul City Blockchain Promotion Plan (2018-2022)," during a press conference held in the City Hall of Zug, Switzerland.
"Blockchain technology can be applied in various fields, but it seems that most of the attention is focused only on cryptocurrency," said Mayor Park, adding "No one would disagree that blockchain technology could be the next key fourth industrial revolution technology, determining the IT landscape going forward. Therefore, Seoul will be at the heart of supporting the blockchain industry’s ecosystem."
As part of the plan, SMG will first inject KRW 60.3 billion and build blockchain complexes in Mapo and Gaepo regions to house 200 blockchain related companies.
A total of 70 workspaces, 23 in Mapo Startup Hub and 50 in Gaepo Digital Innovation Park will be established by next year, while a seven-story building with two basement floors and five above-ground floors named "Seoul Global Blockchain Center," which can host about 120 companies, will be constructed in the sports field site of Gaepo Digital Innovation Park by 2021.
The SMG will create a KRW 100 billion "Blockchain Seoul Fund" to invest in blockchain startups by 2022. The fund will be a public-private fund, where the city government will contribute 14% of the total amount, and the rest will be raised by both the private sector and fund of funds.
Moreover, the "Seoul Blockchain College" will be established as a means to tackle the issue of worker shortages. The goal is to produce some 760 talented professionals throughout the next five years.
The SMG will also support the blockchain MICE industry. Seoul City will invest a maximum of KRW 100 million in promising blockchain events, and come up with a blockchain tour course to introduce the Seoul blockchain industry hubs to MICE participants.
"Just as people from around the world come to see the Crypto Valley compromised of blockchain companies in Zug, which is a small city of 30,000 population in Switzerland, Seoul will also become the destination for a blockchain tour," said Mayor Park.
"The application of blockchain technology in actual administrative practices have not fully taken place anywhere yet. If Seoul does this, then it will provide an important momentum to vitalize the blockchain industry."
Translated by Cha Soo-jin