South Korean Gov’t to Invest Over $200 Mln in Public, Private Blockchain Initiatives
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has announced a major Blockchain Technology Development Strategy that aims to raise 230 bln won (~$207 mln) by 2022.
According to the Ministry’s official announcement, the new initiative will foster 10,000 blockchain industry professionals and 100 companies, and will expand and commercialize six existing blockchain pilots with the Ministry’s backing.
These pilots aim to leverage blockchain technology for real estate, online voting, shipping logistics, livestock record management, customs clearance, real estate, and international e-document distribution.
The Ministry’s press release also gives examples of private blockchain initiatives it plans to promote, including “smart city” and “smart factory” projects, a blockchain system for the used car industry, and a blockchain-based “safe school food” distribution initiative.
In addition, the Korean government will back the development of BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service), to allow small and medium-sized enterprises to implement blockchain solutions efficiently.
Funds will further be allocated to blockchain research projects, infrastructure development, a blockchain technical support center and sandbox, as well as to reviewing legal issues specific to smart contracts.
Although recent crypto news from South Korean has been focused on reports of the theft of $30 mln from South Korea’s leading crypto exchange Bithumb, wider developments in the country’s crypto and blockchain industry this spring have been more positive.
In May, the country’s central bank began exploring the idea of using blockchain in order to realize its ambitious project for a “cashless society” by 2020. That same month, the South Korean government revealed a positive reorientation for domestic crypto and blockchain legislation, suggesting it plans to make domestic Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) legal again.
Just yesterday, the chairman of one of the largest South Korean gaming companies, Netmarble – which has a market cap of 12.86 trln won (about $11.59 bln) – said he believes that blockchain technology “will be applied to all industries in the future."