Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon on Tuesday pledged to make Korea’s capital city a blockchain hub, saying he will do his utmost to help create a blockchain ecosystem in Seoul.
“The United Nations’ report on the State of the Future has selected blockchain as one of 100 tasks that would change the future. The world’s leading IT advisory company Gartner also forecasts the global blockchain market to reach $3.16 trillion in 2030,” Park said in his welcoming speech at the “fuze 2018,” the main event of the Asia Blockchain & Fintech (ABF) in Seoul, which opened at Shilla Hotel Tuesday.
“Seoul City will collaborate with fintech startups to bring out new business models this year,” Park said, recalling that he had been chosen as one of the five innovative mayors by the Guardian. The ABF in Seoul, the first blockchain conference hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, is organized by Decenter, a media outlet specializing in blockchain news. The Seoul Economic Daily, Chain Partners, WeWork, Japan’s CTIA and VCG co-host the conference.
Park renewed his commitment to boosting blockchain and fintech, mentioning his recent visit to Zug, which is often called Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley.” “Zug is a small provincial city but enjoys the creation of numerous high-end jobs thanks to the convergence of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and startups from around the world,” said Park who announced his blueprint to make Seoul a blockchain city in Zug in early October.
“Seoul City will build blockchain clusters that can accommodate 200 companies to create an industrial ecosystem for blockchain. We will also raise 100 billion won funds with the private sector to help nurture unicorn startups,” Park said. “A blockchain college will be established to help foster talented persons. We will also graft blockchain technology onto administrative segments such as electronic voting, welfare and civil services to help boost transparency and reliability.”
In his keynote speech, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert underscored the role of the government in building a new ecosystem. “If new technology comes out, every government tends to be careful and oppose it even before dealing with the ecosystem,” he said, recalling the time when he served as mayor of Jerusalem. “But blockchain is unstoppable. The government needs to absorb blockchain technology and study how it can give more benefits to people,” Olmert said.
The former Israeli premier also emphasized the role of young people, saying blockchain could give benefits to the world by removing unnecessary third-party intervention. “There have been hackings in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Youngsters should try to discover ways of protecting blockchain workers and users,” Olmert said.
/Jaeyeon Won·Janice Yunji Kim Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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