South Korea’s Buyeo County, located in the rural province of South Chungcheong, has been witnessing strong interest in a local blockchain-powered stablecoin since its creation in early 2019.

According to a report published by Donga, most of the county’s population is made up of elderly residents. Census data indicates that around 75,000 people live there in total. In 2019, the county created a local token named “Goodtrae Pay” at a cost of over $267,000.

Launched to increase contactless payments

As of press time, around $48.5 million in tokens have been used in an effort to strengthen the adoption of contactless payments. The system also uses a Near-Field-Communication, or NFC, based smart card that aims to provide residents with a payment method even if they don’t own a smartphone.

Figures published by Buyeo County showed that 54% of its residents have downloaded the app or used a smart card to pay with Goodtrae Pay. At least 8% of the tokens received by local businesses have not yet been cashed out into fiat.

Goodtrae Pay project was supported by a tech company named InJoyWorks Inc., who also cheered up for making the smart cards a zero-fee payment method for users.

Usage strengthened even before COVID-19

The county clarified that adoption was not boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They said that the asset’s bullish trend has been skyrocketing since the smart card was launched in late 2019.

Recently, the South Korean government announced its plans to invest over $48.2 billion in Blockchain and other Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025. The nation’s goal is to promote the digitization of all industries in the coming post-pandemic era.

Andong, a city in the Gyeongbuk province of South Korea, also announced on July 7 that they’ve been granted a permit to operate a free trade zone for industrial hemp.