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The metropolitan government of Seoul, South Korea’s capital, has chosen Samsung SDS to draw a roadmap to apply blockchain technology to the city’s entire administration to improve citizen convenience and administrative transparency.

Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary of Korean electronics giant Samsung, has won an order from Seoul’s Metropolitan Government to establish an Information Strategy Plan (ISP) for ‘Innovation in Building Blockchain (Solutions) for Seoul City’, the company said today. The initiative is notable for the city government’s intention to apply blockchain technology across ‘the entire municipal administration’ by 2022.

The city government has already identified a number of sectors for blockchain applications including welfare, safety, traffic and other municipal affairs. Initial applications will see blockchain’s core characteristic as a secure, immutable ledger used for recording personal information of citizens, paying out unemployed youth allowances and the sale of used car deeds. The ultimate goal? To broadly expand civic convenience and administrative transparency with blockchain technology powering the city’s entire municipal administration in four years.

According to the terms of the contract, Samsung SDS is now tasked to assess the environment and chart a roadmap toward both ‘introducing and spreading blockchain technology throughout the city’s municipal government’ over the next five months. Samsung’s software unit will design and propose future models alongside plans to systematically implement them across the city’s government and the public sector.

In statements, Samsung SDS chief executive Hong Won-pyo said:

Samsung SDS intends to contribute to the city becoming a world-class city by strengthening the transparency, fairness and civic convenience through its own blockchain technology and consulting capability.

The Seoul city project marks the company’s first foray into introducing blockchain technology to the public sector, becoming the first domestic company in Korea to do so. Samsung’s software stem unveiled its blockchain platform ‘Nexledger’ in a commercial launch earlier this year. In May, the company began a notable pilot project for Korea’s shipping and logistics industry to track imports, exports and real-time tracking of cargo shipments over a blockchain. The pilot proved successful with its first trial run of a Korea-China shipment, and its entire logistics chain process, facilitated by a blockchain.

Seoul’s city-wide initiative is a notable endorsement of blockchain, the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and draws parallels to a similar effort in Dubai, the latter charting its own path to become the world’s ‘first blockchain city’ by 2020.

Seoul city image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Samburaj Das