The long and complicated battle between cryptocurrencies and politicians around the world has gained momentum over the past few months, as coins and tokens have gained in value and popularity. Government officials and lawmakers have generally been against digital currencies, claiming that they pose risks and encourage fraud, money laundering, scams and terrorism financing. It has been tough to change the minds and perceptions of regulators thus far, resulting in strong and restrictive laws in most countries. However, a few political figures do think differently, outside the box and see the true potential in the blockchain technology and in digital currencies. This is the case for South Korean mayor, Park Won-soon, who is pro-blockchain and aims to use it as one of his key points to get re-elected in June.
The Mayor of Seoul is seeking a third term in office and has announced that he fully supports the development of the blockchain and decentralized infrastructures in the South Korean capital. Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin and Ethereum, are very popular in the nation, which is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of adoption. The younger generation, usually between 20 and 35, has been the driving force of crypto’s popularity in South Korea in the recent years. The mayor is looking to use this to his advantage as he knows how big of an interest there is and how most people want more blockchain adoption. Mr. Park, a lawyer by profession, wants to focus on innovation and is looking to make it one of Seoul strengths. The government has reportedly been investing a lot into innovation and hopes to build large complexes for innovation, tech startups, and research. These complexes will likely be incubators and/or co-working spaces. One of them, the Mapo Fintech Lab, will be completely dedicated to fintech and the blockchain technology.
This is one of Mr. Park’s idea – make the Mapo district completely blockchain-focused and make it a core part of the blockchain development movement in the nation’s capital. This is a very appealing idea, which will be sure to attract a lot of companies and entrepreneurs that need infrastructure, space, and funding to develop next-generation ideas and innovations. In addition to his pledge to drive innovation, Mayor Park Won-soon reportedly wants to implement the blockchain technology into existing governmental services, such as administration, in the city.
The fact that these changes are coming directly from an official’s desk is rare and deserves to be recognized. Mr. Park is going against what most government officials believe and this strategy is sure to pay off in the race to re-election. Will other politicians follow his lead and start praising cryptocurrencies and the blockchain in the near future?
TLDR: Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon is hoping to be re-elected in June for a potential third term and one of the key points in his program is the development of the blockchain technology through innovation. He also wishes to integrate the technology into existing public city services.