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S Korean Province to Fight COVID-19 Recession with Stablecoin Handout

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

South Korea was one of the first nations after China to be hit with a major coronavirus outbreak. But as the health crisis slowly abates in the East Asian nation, government authorities are now looking at ways to deal with COVID-19’s economic fallout.

Suwon, the capital of Gyeonggi Province. Source: Adobe/DeokKeun

But rather than turning to “money printer go brrr” solutions only, there are suggestions the nation may also turn to a blockchain-powered fix – in the form of stablecoin handouts.

Per Asia Times, the government of Gyeonggi Province, the area surrounding Seoul and the country’s most populous region, wants to pool the resources of its three major stablecoin projects, expand them – and give its 13.53 million residents a one-off USD 81 “emergency relief” handout.

Currently, three of the province’s biggest cities – Gimpo, Seongnam and Siheung – operate stablecoin programs, albeit with different operators. Telecom giant KT co-runs Gimpo’s Gimpopay token, while Seongnam and Siheung both use a network co-developed by the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation and LG CNS.

Local government-run stablecoins are on the rise in South Korea, with many Gyeonggi-based projects reporting a positive response to their blockchain-powered initiatives.

The media outlet says that Gyeonggi wants to expand its local stablecoin coverage to the entire province, and wants to expand the network of coverage to smaller merchants.

The handout could be issued as soon as April, but residents may be incentivized to spend their tokens quickly – as the provincial government wants to ensure that the funds will only be redeemable for three months.

The same media outlet says that other parts of the nation will likely follow suit – and says Seoul may use attempt a similar move using its own Zero Pay stablecoin.

Learn more:
Why Is South Korea’s Coronavirus Fatality Rate so Low?
US Digital Dollar Proposal Appeared in Three Draft Bills