South Korea, a country that is already well-known as a trading hub for cryptocurrencies, is taking its relationship with blockchain and cryptos a step further. The country’s capital and largest city, Seoul, is developing S-Coin, a cryptocurrency designed especially for municipal transactions, according to its Mayor Park Won-Soon. He divulged this information in an interview with Coindesk Korea. (See also: Why is South Korea So Important To Crypto Prices?)

During the interview, Park waxed eloquent about the applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies to city government. He said blockchain technology could be applied to several city services and administrative tasks, such as public transportation systems and youth allowances for unemployed citizens. But he also sounded a note of caution about regulatory bottlenecks. "In order to make an S-Coin, we need to prepare institutional and legal support such as bylaws,” he said. 

His stance regarding cryptocurrencies differs from that of the country’s central government, which has alternated between threatening stifling regulations and making anodyne statements regarding crytocurrencies. It can also be construed as a positive future indicator for them in their third-largest market. According to some reports, South Korean traders are responsible for propping up prices for coins such as ethereum and ripple. (See also: Bitcoin Price Rise After Regulators Dial Back Rhetoric.

Blockchain In Cities 

As the profile for cryptocurrencies has risen, city and state governments are increasingly testing them to streamline operations and provide services. Blockchains have become important components of smart cities, i.e., cities that apply technological fixes to problems and to provide services. For example, Dubai is reported to have released its own coin called EmCash. A government official said it was to be used “for government and non-government services, for their daily coffee and children’s school fee to utility charges and money transfers.” 

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies could also simplify provisioning and implementation of social services. For example, current recipients of South Korea’s youth allowance program are required to submit receipts and a report detailing how they spent their allowance. With its public, decentralized ledger, blockchain could take out the process’s guesswork for authorities and make it transparent. In turn, blockchain will enable tracking the initiative's eventual success or failure. 

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