South Korea Plans to Invest $9 Million in Six Blockchain Pilots

With blockchain technology increasing its presence in the mainstream, the governments of some countries seem to recognize the great potential of the virtual asset industry and are keen on getting on the bandwagon. One of them is the South Korean government, which plans to strengthen the domestic economy by investing 10 billion Korean won ($9 million) to promote the development of this technology in the country.

The Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (“information and communications technology”) released on Thursday a strategy for blockchain technology development, according to which the government intends to invest $9 million by the end of 2019.

As the agency says, the country wants to pursue “a medium-to-long-term plan for expanding blockchain technology”.

What will the project entail?

The ministry plans to work with other government agencies to set the blockchain pilots in motion in the public sector. The government will coordinate the pilots in areas including livestock supply chain management, customs clearance, online voting, real-estate purchase, cross-border e-document distribution and shipping logistics.

The purpose of the project is to improve the effectiveness and transparency of information sharing in those public services, via a distributed network.

One of the ministries that will join the Ministry of Science and ICT on the project is the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. These two ministries will jointly establish a system that will provide updates on the information on livestock from their breeding and shipping to sales on a distributed (shared) ledger.

As explained in the strategy, each party in the supply chain acts as a node on the blockchain. As a reminder, a “node” in the blockchain system is a computer connected to the blockchain network using a client that performs the task of validating and relaying transactions. Basically, a network of nodes makes up the blockchain.

In the Korean government’s project, each party, which acts as a node, can receive information more rapidly. Therefore, if a problem arises, the follow-up period can be reduced from six days to less than 10 minutes, the strategy document said.

As for the real-estate sector, the blockchain pilot will include the participation of the Ministry of Land and Transport. The government’s goal is to merge real estate, taxation, and legal services into a blockchain, which would result in real-estate transactions becoming more consumer-friendly. This means that it would add to the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire process for the customers because the information-sharing process among different parties will be automatized.

“We will establish a roadmap for developing blockchain technology and plan to secure 90% of the technology level by 2022 compared to the world’s top countries,” the ministry said.

Additional plans

This is not the only thing the Korean government has in store. The ministry plans to invest another 800 million won (or $720,000) each year in the next six-year-period for the project of teaching students about the emerging blockchain technology. The ministry plans to have around 10,000 blockchain experts by the year 2022.

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