South Korea’s Busan City embarks on ambitious journey to become a blockchain hub

South Korea’s Busan City embarks on ambitious journey to become a blockchain hub


  • Busan City in South Korea is developing a city-level public blockchain mainnet compatible with global platforms like Ethereum and Cosmos, aiming to consolidate various blockchain-based services onto a single platform.
  • The city has allocated a 100-billion-Korean-won ($75 million) budget for this initiative under the Blockchain Innovation Fund (BIF), with plans to raise additional funds through investments from public financial institutions and nearly 100 interested private companies.
  • Alongside the blockchain development, Busan also plans to launch a digital asset exchange by the first half of 2024, initially focusing on tokenized commodities like gold, copper, and oil, with future plans to include intellectual property rights and carbon emissions rights.

Busan City, South Korea’s second-largest city, has announced plans to develop its own blockchain mainnet. The initiative aims to consolidate various blockchain-based services under a single, city-level platform that is compatible with global blockchain mainnets like Ethereum and Cosmos.

Busan City has been a special blockchain regulation-free zone, experimenting with various blockchain-based projects such as B-Pass and digital vouchers. However, the use of disparate blockchain mainnets for each project led to a fragmented user experience. To address this, the city has decided to develop a unified mainnet that aligns with global blockchain standards. 

This mainnet will be an ‘open blockchain,’ allowing anyone to view transaction data, much like its global counterparts Ethereum and Cosmos. Busan City is also participating in the establishment of the Blockchain Trust Framework (BTF) technology standard, led by the Korea Internet & Security Agency. The BTF aims to set performance and security benchmarks for blockchain systems, which will be implemented in both private and public services within Busan.

Financial backing and future prospects

To fuel this ambitious project, Busan City has set up a Blockchain Innovation Fund (BIF) with a budget of 100 billion Korean won (approximately $75 million). The fund aims to attract investments from public financial institutions in Busan and has already garnered interest from nearly 100 private companies. The fund will be managed by a steering committee, with Busan City securing the majority of the committee’s recommendations to ensure public interest.

In addition to the mainnet, Busan City is also planning to launch the Busan Digital Asset Exchange by the first half of 2024. Initially, the exchange will support blockchain-based transactions of tokenized products such as precious metals and raw materials. Future plans include the tokenization and trading of global intellectual property rights and carbon emissions rights.

The city’s long-term vision doesn’t stop there. Busan City aims to evolve from a blockchain regulation-free special zone to a global innovation special zone. It plans to actively support the overseas expansion of innovative companies that have proven their mettle in Busan. Furthermore, the city will announce 100 companies participating in the ‘Busan Blockchain Alliance’ at the ‘BWB 2023’ event in November, reinforcing its commitment to becoming a global blockchain city.

In summary, Busan City’s multi-faceted approach to blockchain technology sets a precedent for other cities globally. With its unified mainnet, financial backing, and future-oriented plans, Busan is well on its way to becoming a blockchain city of the future.

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Written by Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.