South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information Communications Technology (ICT) has promised government support for the local blockchain industry. The purpose is to help speed up growth and help the companies lead the global blockchain market.
The Thursday, September 20, 2018 announcement by the Second Vice Minister of Science and ICT Min Won Ki during a meeting with blockchain startups at the offices of Blocko, a blockchain technology startup in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province.
The meeting is part of the government’s determination to engage with business entities in the 10 leading ICT sectors of the country’s “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Min Won Ki said:
“Considering the fact that there is no significant blockchain technology gap between South Korea and the other countries, it is a good opportunity for South Korea to lead the industry. The government will actively back domestic companies to help them lead the global blockchain market.”
Korea Marches Forward
The South Korean government has taken several positive steps in the last few months to boost the blockchain sector. In June, the Ministry of Science and ICT announced a plan to raise 230 billion won ($207 million) by 2022 to distribute to about 10,000 blockchain experts and 100 startups besides encouraging the development and commercialization of six blockchain startups the ministry is already supporting.
The government announced in July it was planning to introduce a classification system for the county’s blockchain industry. This is beside announcing recently that there were plans to invest over 1 trillion won in 2019 in blockchain, big data and sharing economy which is twice what the government provided this year.
The minister had time to listen to different entrepreneurs reveal the challenges they face in running their businesses in South Korea. The representatives of different startups presented a list of proposals to the minister for consideration including:
- Creating a fair competitive environment between local and foreign blockchain developers
- The establishment of a cloud-based blockchain development platform
- Provision of support for Research and Development expenditures in the private sector
The participants freely discussed several topics including plans to improve the blockchain technology and regulations besides reviewing pilot blockchain projects started by the government with an investment of 4.2 billion won ($3.75 million) aimed at expanding the blockchain market. An official from the ministry said:
“We decided to hold the meeting in camera in order to hear out what challenges and difficulties the industry faces without making any kind of adjustments. This was to collect a candid opinion from the industry and help the government speak frankly with the industry.”