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Seoul District’s Digital Fiat Could Become Model for all of S Korea

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A local district in Seoul is pushing ahead with a pilot scheme that has seen it introduce a groundbreaking digital fiat. Nowon, in the north of the South Korean capital, first debuted its Nowon Coin currency in February this year.

Source: iStock/tawatchaiprakobkit

Nowon’s pilot scheme currently allows residents in the area to pay at book stores and send gifts to neighbors. However, per Money Today TV, the local government is hoping to expand the scheme despite the fact that “only one or two transactions per day” are currently conducted using Nowon Coin – stating, “The level of expectation among local vendors is running very high.”

The coin’s value is pegged to the Korean won, say officials, with 1 Nowon Coin worth 1 KRW (KRW 1,000 = USD 0.92).

Nowon authorities say that the coin’s reach will be extended, and that it will be available for use as payment at outdoor food markets and grocery stores. The district says it will issue child support benefits and other welfare payments in its digital currency.

As previously reported, a host of winning South Korean political candidates pledged to launch digital fiats for use in local communities – with recently elected regional governors and mayors in Seoul, Jeju Island and elsewhere set to introduce blockchain-based initiatives and local coins.

Media outlet Money Today says that local governments from all over the country are now examining Nowon’s initiative with great interest as they prepare to debut pilots of their own.