The Busan Metropolitan City in South Korea will issue a blockchain-based local currency Dongbaekjeon starting on December 30 this year. “Dongbaekjeon is a blockchain-based card-type local currency. It can apply and charge its cards at mobile apps, Hana Bank and Busan Bank’s windows, and use available at all stores in Busan, where credit card terminals
Busan City has finally selected KT Corp. as the operator of Dongbaekjeon, Busan’s regional currency with annual issuance of 300 billion won ($258 million).
However, in the process of selecting KT and issuing Dongbaekjeon, Small and Medium-sized Business Associations in Busan is strongly opposed to issuing Dongbaekjeon.
SMEs Associations claimed that if the local currency is issued as a debit card, access to smartphone applications is particularly difficult for older people as they have to download them or obtain them from banks. For this reason, bank accounts are required and credit delinquents are not allowed to use them.
Busan, however, said it has negotiated with the KT to supplement the use of the Dongbaekjeon within the region, adding that it will issue the Dongbaekjeon in local currency later this month as planned.
The Busan City will issue 300 billion won worth of local currency this year and up to 1 trillion won($861 million) next year through KT. In addition, KT plans to actively promote Dongbaekjeon based on its know-how in operating local currency such as Gimpo Pay, Gongju Pay, and Ulsan Pay.
To this end, Busan will issue blockchain in the foundation that minimizes the side effects of local currencies such as illegal cash flows and supports the efficient local currency, and with planning to provide a stable platform.
Busan will provide citizens 6 percent cashback on every transaction when using Dongbaekjeon. The local government plan to release 10 percent cashback by next year in January.
Yoo Yong-kyu, head of the KT Blockchain Biz Center said: "KT is