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South Korean Government Sets Aside $880m for Blockchain

South Korea’s government has ringfenced $880 million in its annual budget next year, to invest in high-innovation technology – particularly the blockchain.

In a release issued on Tuesday, the country’s deputy prime minister Kim Dong Yeon hosted a meeting Monday (Aug 13) to lay out South Korea’s investment roadmap for the next five years.

The figure allotted to tech represents an 80% increase on 2018, and will bolster four areas with a “long-term perspective”: building a digital platform for AI, Big Data and blockchain; easing the data divide; establishing a hydrogen fuel supply chain; and future-proofing South Korea’s education system.Deputy PM Kim also announced the formation of a public-private compliance taskforce, amid an alleged $88bn shortfall due to compliance problems.

“The government has decided to work on a platform economy, whose impact is powerful and far-reaching, and I want today’s discussion on ‘growth through innovation’ investment to be a point of departure for Korea to develop a strong platform economy,” wrote the minister.

South Korea is a key player in the promotion of blockchain technology. Its government has pushed the education of the technology of late. Jeju, a volcanic island off the country’s southernmost tip, has petitioned Seoul to allow it to home initial coin offerings (ICOs) – despite their illegality on the mainland.

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