Seoul Appoints Blockchain Governance Team to Overhaul City Services

February 22, 2019

The Seoul City Government has appointed a team to incorporate blockchain technology into the city’s administrative services. The announcement was made by the ICON Foundation on February 8th.

The metropolitan administration formed the “Seoul Blockchain Governance Team” to identify areas in its public services and operations where blockchain technology could play a vital role. Some of the use cases identified by the team include digital document verification and sub-contract payments.

The team reportedly comprises 100 active members. Participants come from diverse backgrounds, including academics, tech industry professionals, corporate employees, and others. A wide range of ages, from 21 to 77, are represented in the team.

A pilot project has been initiated for blockchain-based administration services. Project tests will be carried out by the appointed team members.  From January 2019 to December 2020, members are required to provide their recommendations of the project for further improvements.

Appointment letters were issued to the new team members over ICON Foundation’s public blockchain. The use of blockchain to issue the letters was a deliberate move to eliminate the chance of forgery. J.H. Kim, council member of the ICON Foundation and CEO of ICONLOOP, said this specific instance of blockchain usage was just a stepping stone for the metropolitan administration, and ICON expects the city to aggressively adopt the technology for operational efficiency. According to Kim, ICON will provide all the required support to the city government for the implementation of transparent and efficient blockchain-based administrative services.

In January 2019, Yeongdeungpo-gu, a southwestern district in the capital, announced the application of blockchain to its proposal evaluation system. The initiative aims to fortify transparency in the district’s administrative operations. Once in place, the blockchain system will be expanded to support the wider department and other Korean cities.

The same month, the defense arm of the South Korean government, DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration), funded a blockchain pilot. DAPA plans to approve grants of up to 600 million won (about $530,000) per project.

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