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Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, is forging ahead to become a prominent blockchain hub. The city administration is spearheading the initiative to develop a public blockchain network compatible with major platforms like Ethereum and Cosmos.

The objective is to consolidate blockchain-based services from diverse mainnets onto a unified platform at the city level, ultimately transforming Busan into a full-fledged blockchain city.

The Blockchain Innovation Fund (BIF)

For this vision to become a reality, Busan City has earmarked a budget of 100 billion Korean won, equivalent to approximately 75 million USD, through the Blockchain Innovation Fund (BIF). This fund will come from investments facilitated by public financial institutions within Busan, with nearly 100 private companies expressing keen interest.

The BIF, a private fund backing Busan’s blockchain industry and infrastructure growth, is guided by the city’s collaboration with specific financial and public institutions. This venture, a part of the Busan Digital Asset Exchange Establishment Promotion Plan and Future Schedule plan, is a strategic move towards establishing Busan as a blockchain-centric city.

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The official announcement emphasizes the city’s prior experimentation with blockchain applications in its trade-free zone. However, the diverse blockchains used led to an unsatisfactory experience for businesses.

This was an essential reason for the city administration to pivot towards a public blockchain integrated at the city level, harmoniously coexisting with global blockchain networks like Ethereum.

Reshaping The Blockchain Trust Framework

Meanwhile, Busan City is also actively shaping the Blockchain Trust Framework technology standard, an initiative spearheaded by the Korea Internet & Security Agency. The objective is to elevate the quality of private services and foster seamless interoperability between them.

This will be accomplished through specified requisites such as blockchain technical proficiency, performance benchmarks, and security standards. Moreover, this standard will also apply to public services within the city.

Nevertheless, the long-term blockchain development roadmap includes establishing the Busan digital asset exchange in Q2 2024. Beyond the conventional listing of digital assets, this exchange will also facilitate the trade of tokenized securities, including commodities such as gold, copper, and oil.

The project also envisions tokenizing and trading global intellectual property rights and carbon emissions rights.

8-Year Dormant ETH Wallet Becomes Active

Meanwhile, several reports indicate that an Ethereum ICO participant has suddenly become active, transferring 32.1 ETH to Coinbase after an eight-year hiatus. This Ethereum address is associated with shemnon.eth (@shemnon) was an initial recipient of 200 ETH during the Ethereum Genesis phase.

This reactivation has ignited curiosity and discussions within the cryptocurrency sphere, given that ETH’s value has surged tremendously since the ICO event. In recent months, there have been several instances of Ethereum addresses linked to the platform’s ICO becoming active again after prolonged dormancy.

An earlier instance was an Ethereum ICO participant that ended an eight-year dormancy in July, depositing 61,216 ETH, valued at approximately 116 million USD, into the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange. Additionally, another long-dormant wallet moved 641 ETH and commenced staking, amounting to about 1.19 million USD.

These substantial transactions command attention due to their magnitude and the extraordinary gains early Ethereum backers have achieved. With Ethereum’s ICO price at a mere 0.31 USD per ETH and its current market value hovering around 1,623 USD, early adopters have achieved exponential investment growth.

Meanwhile, the sudden activity in these long-dormant wallets raises questions about the motives behind these transfers. Some speculate that the original holders, observing Ethereum’s impressive price surge over the years, might be capitalizing on their gains or diversifying their investment portfolios.

Others argue that their moves could be due to the rising popularity of Ethereum staking, which enables holders to earn rewards by participating in the network’s security.

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George Ward

By George Ward

George Ward is a crypto journalist and market analyst at Herald Sheets, known for his engaging articles on the latest digital currency trends. With a background in finance and journalism, he presents complex topics accessibly. George holds a degree in Business and Finance from the University of Cambridge.