South Korea Goes Blockchain Not Long After China
South Korea’s additional investments followed after China’s announcement on its pro-blockchain efforts towards development.
The South-Korean government will invest some USD 12.8 million in blockchain projects in 2020, as confirmed by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Reportedly, the ministry has planned out their spending, and it hopes the money invested will boost both public and private sector blockchain initiatives. It also hopes to train a new generation of blockchain experts.
The ministry says the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) will provide “over USD 8.6 million to develop services that can be used by public institutions and the private sector.”
KISA is in search of a “multi-year” project – a blockchain initiative it can back financially over many years.
Around USD 3.4 million in funding will be provided by the government-run National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA). NIPA oversees free blockchain training sessions and has plans for expansion with introductory blockchain courses, developers, and specialist courses all to be made available for free in the Mapo district of Seoul.
NIPA has been charged with nurturing “specialized blockchain companies and fostering experts,” and as well as funding the blockchain courses budget, the USD 3.4 million will also be used to provide up to USD 342,000 worth of aid to some selected private sector blockchain startups.
The agencies mentioned about researching “regulatory support.” There have been several prominent South Korean companies and activists who are desperately wishing for the government to change its stance on blockchain policy.
Seoul remains firmly in favor of all things private blockchain-related, but public blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects are looked down upon, thus failing to capture attention.
KISA’s expansion decision is about moving from short-term blockchain pilots to “medium and long-term” projects. Currently, the agency is working on some 12 public-private pilots, which, according to them, are “on average 80% complete.”
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