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Seoul Mayoral Hopefuls Clash over Blockchain Policy

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Seoul mayoral candidates are locking horns over blockchain technology on the eve of South Korea’s local elections.

Source: iStock/Niyazz

The two frontrunners in the race are incumbent Democratic Party candidate Park Won-soon, who is vying for his third term, and tech guru-turned-politician Ahn Chul-soo.

Park, the overwhelming favorite to win, says he plans to create a blockchain incubation center in the city, and has spoken of plans to introduce a digital fiat that residents could use to pay for goods and services at local businesses.

Ahn, the founder of AhnLabs, the country’s biggest PC antivirus provider, has labelled the fiat plans “a waste of taxpayers’ money.” However, Ahn has championed blockchain as a “breakthrough technology that reduces security costs while making reducing the possibility of tampering or hacking to virtually zero.” Ahn says he wants to use the technology to eliminate the use of complex documentation by the city government, and boost transparency.

Elsewhere in the country, a number of other leading candidates are promising sweeping, blockchain-related change if elected. These include conservative Nam Kyung-pil, of the Libery Korea Party, who is running for reelection to the governorship of the affluent Gyeonggi Province.

Nam’s chief campaign pledges include the creation of the G Coin, which could be used to pay at stores and public offices. The governor has even outlined plans for an initial coin offering (ICO) launch for the G Coin, as well as a huge blockchain center in the city of Pangyo.

Voters in South Korea go to the polls on June 13.