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South Korea to Pump $880 Million Into Blockchain Tech in 2019

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According to an official press release, South Korea will invest a total of 5 trillion won (around $4.4 billion) in its “Growth Through Innovation” plan. The strategy will fund a total of eight pilot projects, which plan to develop a “platform economy” comprising a digital platform for big data analytics and transactions, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell supply chain.

South Korea plans to invest a total of between 9 and 10 trillion won in the initiative, recognizing the nationwide impact that it would have on other industries.

The official release also places an emphasis on blockchain-based technology as an important part of boosting the sharing economy.

The press release reads:

The government will focus on promoting big data and AI, developing blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the sharing economy.

According to details from the finance ministry’s own website, the areas of big data, AI, blockchain and the sharing economy have collectively seen investments of 579.9 billion won ($511 million) in 2018. In 2019, Korea’s finance ministry has now revealed an investment of 1,040 billion won ($918 million) for the sectors; a near 80% increase in investments into the spaces.

The finance ministry, as quoted by Korean publication Yonhap, said:

The measures will help facilitate the platform economy, which in turn will help speed up innovative growth.

Signs of Positivity

The developments come at a time when the country’s ministry of science and ICT is actively promoting blockchain education among Korea’s youth. CoinDesk has further reported that the country’s Jeju Island has outlined a proposal to the central government for it to become a ‘special zone for blockchain and cryptocurrency’ startups and firms wherein ICOs will be permitted in the province despite its ban in the mainland.

Apart from this massive wave of investments, South Korea recently saw the opening of blockchain and crypto industry-specific research centers. These have been designated to provide comprehensive analysis of the cryptocurrency market conditions, both within the country and abroad.

In July, the country also announced the creation of the Financial Innovation Bureau (FIB) – a governmental structure which is part of the Financial Services Commission (FSC); and dedicated to working on policies concerning the field of cryptocurrencies, big data, and fintech.

Additionally, in June, the Ministry of ICT announced that it was working with other government agencies to develop six pilot programs that will adopt blockchain in major public services.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Do you think that South Korea is moving in the right direction with its blockchain strategy? Let us know in the comments section.

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