Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, announced Thursday that it will launch a digital commodities exchange in the second half of this year, shelving its initial plan to pursue a city-backed cryptocurrency trading platform.

See related article: S. Korea’s Busan city crypto exchange moves ahead without global partners

Fast facts

  • The Busan city government said in a press release that its exchange will tokenize commodities with blockchain, allowing traders to invest small stakes in high-priced goods such as real estate, gold and intellectual property.
  • The exchange will start with tokenizing the intellectual properties of movies and games. The port city is also known for the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and G-Star, a video games exhibition. 
  • The city intends to establish a legal corporation and begin performing technical tests in February. The city said it plans to expand the exchange’s offerings to all blockchain-based digital assets in the future, but a timeline was not disclosed. 
  • Local media outlet Busan Ilbo reported on Wednesday that the exchange put off its plans to offer services related to cryptocurrencies and security token offerings last year to avoid potential run-ins with local regulators.
  • Since last August, Busan signed partnerships with Binance, Gate.io, Huobi Global, Crypto.com and FTX.com — before its bankruptcy — to build its city-backed digital asset exchange.
  • The international exchange partners were not included in December’s steering committee unveiling, except Huobi, which became a member via its South Korean arm.
  • A Busan city spokesperson told Forkast in a phone call that the partnerships are still intact.

See related article: Binance says will help Busan city grow blockchain industry from bottom up