Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are often under the limelight as they are considered competitors to traditional payments and national currencies. While most consider blockchain and cryptocurrency as almost synonymous with each other, the truth is that cryptocurrencies are just applications that have been built on the underlying blockchain technology.
Since its inception, blockchain technology has been referred to as the most transformative technology especially in the financial services. Governments all over the globe have experienced the massive potential that this technology holds, and hence, started to stress over blockchain as a key area of development.
Most recently, the South Korean Minister of Strategy and Finance has stated that blockchain technology represents a “golden opportunity” for the nation, and has urged private companies throughout the nation to utilise this budding technology.
Government urge private companies to utilise Blockchain
According to an April 17 report from local media outlet Fn News, a meeting was conducted by Koo Yun-Cheol, the Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance, with several industry experts of the private sector.
Koo noted the positive effects of the development of blockchain technology in the West. He believes that the blockchain technology gap between the United States, Europe, and China could decrease in the coming years. He added:
“The size of the blockchain-related industry is expected to grow by more than 80% per year on average, and is competitively supporting foreign countries to preoccupy the market that is attracting attention as a promising technology in the future.”
The meeting further discussed the steps South Korea should take to ensure that it is playing an active role going forward in this regard. The members argued that the nation could greatly benefit from these opportunities, taking into account the creation of an initial market.
“The public pilot project, in which the market demand has been confirmed through the pilot project, has been adopted as the main project. The system also needs to be reorganized.”
$3.2 million for blockchain-based projects
Furthermore, another report states that The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Information and Communication Industry Promotion is set to launch a pilot program called “Blockchain Technology Validation Support in 2020.”
The program aims to grant $360,000 each to nine different projects via free public offerings. The companies selected must offer services that can create economic and social value through blockchain technology. About the program, Park Yoon-kyu, Minister of ICT, said:
“We plan to support domestic specialized companies to rapidly grow and activate the ecosystem in the early stage of the blockchain market.”
South Korea is actively boosting Blockchain development, as the reports come weeks after the nation passed the amendment to the Special Reporting Act making cryptocurrency legal in the nation.
Earlier this month, South Korea’s central bank announced the start of a pilot program on CBDCs. The program is set to identify the technological and legal challenges involved to create and deploy a state-backed cryptocurrency.