Category Archives: 4IR

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Seoul Examines Military Implications of Blockchain

Seoul Examines Military Implications of Blockchain

The South Korean government has announced it is to launch a pilot which will examine the possibility of integrating blockchain solutions into the country’s defense industry.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is planning a USD 530,000 spend for each of the proposed projects aimed at encouraging both small and large defense companies to tender plans.

British news outlet Jane’s Information Group, a British publishing company specializing in military, aerospace and transportation topics, has commented that the project proposals are in line with South Korea’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) plans. This includes the Defense Industry Development Plan which has targeted emerging technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and big data analytics.

South Korea’s latest move follows those by other nations, notably the US and Russia, to develop their defense strategies by including blockchain solutions in a number of areas, primarily in communications.

Recently the US agency responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), sent out a request for information (RFI) on aspects of permissionless distributed consensus protocols.

DARPA is clearly keen to utilize blockchain in a defense strategy; this renewed interest in blockchain technology marks a return to new communications tech, as two years ago DARPA was reported as working on a blockchain based communications platform resilient to cyber-attacks, with self-destruct messaging.

Earlier this year, the US overseas military personnel announced a voting system via a blockchain mobile app so that servicemen could vote in midterm elections. In total, 144 military personnel stationed overseas from 24 counties cast their ballots on a mobile, blockchain-based platform called Voatz.


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South Korea Unveils Blockchain Tech Plan for “Smarter” e-Government

South Korean officials have revealed plans for an “intelligent government roadmap” that details intentions to utilize fourth industrial revolution technologies (4IR) including blockchain technology for the purposes of operating a “smarter” e-government.


According to an official announcement made by the Ministry of Interior and Safety (MOIS), technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and big data are necessary components to address particular challenges. These findings were gathered when the Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MIC) conducted a “demand survey on intelligent government projects” in October, receiving 52 projects from 37 industries.

As written in the online translation: “As a result of institutional demand survey, the field with the greatest number of tasks appeared to be the public affairs chatbot applying artificial intelligence and big data technology to administrative affairs, legal guidance, civil affairs consultation.”

Since September, the ministry has been gathering views on intelligent governments from “civilian experts” such as academics and industry figures. Moving forward, it will be holding government-wide consultations with the central government, information and communication staff of local governments, as well as officials leading the implementation of the roadmap from 19 to 20 November.


In addition to the challenge areas mentioned earlier, the announcement continues to elaborate on the application of these technologies for public safety: “…by combining intelligent information technology such as artificial intelligence, IoT, and CCTV in each social field such as national life, disaster, crime prevention and facilities.”

It goes on to explain that the government has made strides to increase its levels of transparency by applying blockchain technology to areas such as social welfare or the protection of public welfare.

Jeong Yun-ki, director of e-government in the MIC said:

“It is expected that the most effective service will be uncovered by participating in the process of establishing an intelligent government roadmap that best understands e-government practice. We hope that the central government and the local government will be able to provide the intelligent services desired by applying the intelligent information technology to the whole administration. ”

The fourth frontier

The aforementioned 4IR technologies are presently perceived as hugely disruptive cutting-edge entries into the modern era. With this most recent announcement, South Korea is further hedging bets in favor of a future enhanced by these technologies.

Such innovations were recently categorized as “New-Growth Technologies” and granted special tax rules in order to foster the advancement of over 150 technologies across 11 areas including quantum computing and blockchain-based information security technology.

With the USD 4.4 billion ‘Growth through Innovation Investment Plan‘, as well as vows to cooperate with the United States in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution, all eyes are on South Korea as it prepares to decide whether or not to retain the ban on initial coin offerings.


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