The city of Busan, South Korea's second-largest city, is advancing its plans to become a hub for blockchain technologies by launching a digital asset exchange.
City officials have confirmed that they are in the active planning stage, with a tentative launch date set for 2024. This exchange will not support popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH); instead, it will focus on the trading of tokenized commodities.
The exchange promotion committee stated that Busan will leverage its advantages, including events like the Busan International Film Festival, to tokenize intellectual property, film rights, gaming rights, as well as assets such as gold, precious metals, agricultural products, livestock, vessels, and real estate.
Busan envisions this exchange as a fourth-generation blockchain-based platform, with its development exclusively funded by private capital. City administrators are currently seeking operators and plan to conduct a public offering in October to select the exchange operator. After choosing the operator, a legal entity will be established by the end of the year. Despite relying on private capital for its launch, Busan has committed to providing administrative and financial support, aiming to ensure high operational standards to protect investors.
Plans for establishing this exchange were initiated in early 2023, and documents indicate that it will provide market monitoring and deposit calculation services. The city expects the Busan Digital Asset Exchange to serve as a foundation for future expansion, supporting transactions with digital assets and security tokens.
Despite challenges faced by the local blockchain ecosystem since 2022, Busan remains ambitious in becoming a leading player in the Web3 space. The city entered into a historic partnership with Huobi to enhance blockchain infrastructure to support innovation and economic development. Busan's officials express optimism about competing with industry leaders such as Hong Kong and Singapore in the coming years.