The Chinese government is purportedly supporting the construction of a “blockchain city” in the critical shipping lane of the Malaysian Malacca Strait. The development was announced in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 26.
Construction and engineering company China Wuyi and investment network SWT International Sdn Bhd have jointly launched the Chinese government-backed project aimed at the development of the city of Malacca into a blockchain city called Melaka Straits city. The founders of the project are planning to raise 500 Malaysian Ringgits ($120 million) during the initial stage.
Per the release, the entire infrastructure of the city will be based on blockchain technology, with a so called DMI platform offering its native DMI coin. DMI will be used to pay government-based services within the city and feature an exchange that will enable Melaka Straits City tourists to exchange their fiat currencies for DMI coins.
The project CEO Lim Keng Kai said that “our company is using cutting-edge blockchain technologies and integrating those into the traditional industry to make Malaysia a world-class tourist destination. We have the government approval to remediate this land and came up with some great plans for the area.”
China has been expanding its presence in the Pacific region through investments in infrastructure and municipalities. Over the past seven years, China reportedly poured $6 billion in concessional loans and other aid into resource-rich Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby, being eager to exploit its natural gas, minerals and timber resources.
Last June, South Korea revealed plans to launch a blockchain center in Busan city modeled on the Zug-based Crypto Valley, an independent association established for cryptocurrency and blockchain development with the support of government of Switzerland. Chairman of the Korea ICT Financial Convergence Association Oh Jung-geun claimed that “we need a place to concentrate on the cryptographic industry in Korea like the Crypto Valley in Switzerland.”
In February, Norway’s autonomous city Liberstad adopted a cryptocurrency native to its blockchain-powered smart city platform as its official medium of exchange. The private, anarcho-capitalist city was founded in 2015 as part of the Libertania project, which eschews taxes and government regulation. A report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates that spending on so called smart city technology is expected to grow to $135 billion by 2021.