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How South Korea’s Positive Blockchain Blueprint Boosts Asia’s Crypto Industry

Busan, the second-largest metropolitan city in South Korea, has reemphasized its focus on blockchain development. The enthusiastic stance towards blockchain technology could further improve the long-term outlook of the crypto industry.

Last week, the government of Busan said it hosted its first-ever “Busan Blockchain Free Regulatory Zone Steering Committee” meeting.

In it, 23 individuals, including Busan’s vice mayor of economy, blockchain industry executives, professors, and committee members discussed the city’s strategy to accelerate blockchain development and growth.

The meeting comes several days after Lee Sang-min, a South Korea congressman in the ruling Democratic Party, proposed new legislation to support blockchain development.

The Overall Positive Stance Towards Blockchain Buoys Crypto Industry in South Korea

Throughout the past two years, the crypto landscape in South Korea has significantly improved. 

Most Chaebols, or large family-owned business conglomerates in South Korea, have become increasingly involved in the crypto sector or blockchain development.

For instance, Samsung, the biggest conglomerate in South Korea, has led several initiatives in the crypto sector. Most recently, in May 2020, a top U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini said it partnered with Samsung Blockchain. The partnership would allow users in the U.S. and Canada to buy and sell crypto from the Samsung Blockchain Wallet.

Although the local crypto market has slightly slumped due to the impending taxation policy, the industry is rapidly growing. South Korea is expected to tax cryptocurrency investors beginning October, which has brought some nervousness to the local market.

The proactive approach of Busan and other members of Congress to continuously accelerate blockchain development could further catalyze the industry’s growth.

Busan, in particular, is actively encouraging startups to enter the blockchain space. It established a regulation-free zone for blockchain startups in July. Since then, it has given blockchain-related companies various grants and incentives to lead blockchain development.

Byun Seong-wan interim Busan mayor said the city would collaborate with numerous government agencies to lead innovative growth. In a statement translated by 8BTC, he said:

“The topics discussed in the committee meeting would be actively reflected in establishing mid to long-term plans for the development of special regulation-free blockchain zones. By leading innovative growth in cooperation with other ministries, Busan will try to evolve into a ‘blockchain city.’”

The Federal Government Also Vows Support

Atop the efforts of regional governments to aid blockchain adoption, the federal government said it would provide more regulatory clarity.

Congressman Lee acknowledged that the local blockchain sector still lacks regulatory certainty and frameworks. He said the government would provide an “efficient support system” to ensure the blockchain sector sees sustainable growth. He noted:

“The government is trying to facilitate and foster the growth of the blockchain industry by implementing public pilot projects, among other initiatives. But, the industry is still far from reflecting the efforts. The reality of the blockchain industry is that there isn’t even clear regulatory frameworks to expand the industry.

The confluence of regional and federal government support to help grow the blockchain sector would likely spill over to the crypto sector over the long term. Such positive policies and longer-term strategies could enable the confidence in blockchain and crypto to recover in the years ahead.

Featured image from Unsplash, copyright free.

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