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2 South Korean ministries to allocate $3.2M for blockchain industry

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Wed, 18 Mar 2020, 15:49 pm UTC

Two ministries in South Korea have announced support for the blockchain industry.

The Ministry of Science and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Industry Promotion work together to launch a pilot program called “Blockchain Technology Validation Support in 2020” to carry out their project, Cointelegraph reported. They allocated $3.2 million in funding to encourage local startups to use the blockchain technology.

They are planning to select nine projects through public offerings and fund each one up to $360,000. When selecting a project, they will consider the current performance, the feasibility of technology verification and future performance, business goals, expected results and jobs created.

“We plan to support domestic specialized companies to rapidly grow and activate the ecosystem in the early stage of the blockchain market,” Park Yoon-kyu, Minister of ICT, said about the program.

Aside from blockchain, participating startups are encouraged to create business models based on the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. The companies selected last year applied to five patents, nine copyright registrations, and two investment rounds.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Korea (BOK) is working on a blockchain-based bond management system and is looking for a blockchain service provider.

The central bank wants to leverage blockchain technology for the entire process from bond issuance to settlement. The Korea Digital Currency Research Team at the BOK is leading the simulation development project.

BOK launched a Proof of Concept (PoC) project in late 2019 to move the bond transaction record managed by Korea Securities Depository to a blockchain-based system. The system would be accessible by multiple nodes operated by various regulatory authorities, including the Korea Fair Trade Commission, BOK and other financial institutions.

“We are using government bonds to record securities and cash transactions in a distributed ledger and test whether a real-time simultaneous payment trading system is possible,” the official said.

BOK said that there are still many legal issues that need to be reviewed to introduce blockchain to the bond settlement system, so they will not provide service right away. At the time, BOK is still checking whether the system is running nicely by focusing on its technological points.

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