Public sector blockchain trials are to be doubled in 2019 by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), moving the number from 6 to 12.
Innovation in South Korea is showing no signs of slowing; on 4 September, CoinDesk Korea reported that KISA’s spokesperson Min Kyung-sik said that it would be investing over KRW 10 billion (approximately USD 9 billion) into a dozen blockchain projects, surpassing 2018’s KRW 4.2 billion which had been given to six projects.
According to Min, KISA also has plans for three or more “private-led blockchain national projects”, saying, “The block-chain public demonstration project started with the purpose of activating the domestic block-chain industry by acting as the primer of the blockchain spread in the public sector.”
KISA is a sub-organization of the Ministry of Science and ICT, which this year chose the six public sector projects from a selection of 72 pilot ideas that had been submitted from 41 institutions.
The six projects that were chosen in 2018 gave focus to online voting, livestock supply chain management, shipping logistics, real estate transactions, customs clearance and cross-border e-document distribution.
In November 2018, the results of the trials will be made public, shortly after applications for KISA’s blockchain hackathon competition close. The competition is part of the Blockchain Promotion Week event which runs from the 26 to 30 November. The week is designed to increase public awareness of the technology and display real-world applications of it.
Participants in the hackathon challenge are tasked with “providing national benefits” with blockchain, using the technology to solve social issues, create Dapps and develop innovations for both public and private industry.
Blockchain technologies have been included in a huge fund from the government. In August, the South Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance announced a KRW 5 trillion (USD 4.4 billion) fund called the “Growth through Innovation Investment Plan” for 2019.
An article published by Nasdaq makes conclusions that South Korea is the most innovative country in the world when it comes to blockchain technologies. This is drawn from the pace of which that the nation has been going through the Gartner ‘Hype Cycle Theory‘.
It is a five-stage cycle that South Korea is evidently passing through with pushes for regulations, Proof-of-Concept (PoC) projects, blockchain related summits, parliamentary debates, mainstream media adoption and the like. It appears to be only a matter of time until South Korea secures an industry-leading position ahead of the rest of the world.
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