South Korea has been one of the leading examples of the adoption of blockchain technology. The country has been actively participating in its development and this can be seen from efforts that range from tax relief to blockchain education.
Furthermore, it has taken the steps to implement blockchain technology into the different public sector that includes live-stock supply chain, online voting, customs clearance, e-documentation, and real estate transactions, to name a few.
The Latest Initiative
The government has yet taken another step so as to ensure the progressive development of blockchain tech. In a press release, it has announced the release of its project called ‘Blockchain Technology Validation Support in 2020’. Under this initiative, a grant of 3.9 billion won ($3.09 million) will be provided to blockchain startups.
The government has selected a group of nine internal and external projects that will be granted 450 million won. The grant will be administered under the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Information and Communication Industry Promotion (NIPA).
The target group for this grant mainly includes small to medium-sized companies with over 75% of the total amount allocated to them. Furthermore, the application period is allotted until November 30th. The criteria for evaluating the companies to receive funds includes a number of requirements. This includes a demonstration of the feasibility of the project, specificity of technological evaluation, business goals, and its impact on jobs.
The ICT has openly supported and has been on the forefront in taking actions that support modern technological innovations. The Ministry said, “We plan to support domestic specialized companies to rapidly grow and activate the ecosystem in the early stage of the blockchain market.”
Past Efforts of the South Korean Government
This is not the first time that the government has allocated resources. In a funding project last year, the government selected 11 companies. These companies in turn recorded 5 patent applications, 9 copyright registrations, 3 MOUs, and 2 investment promotions.
Another initiative by the government includes relief in tax burdens for blockchain startups. It enables small organizations working in blockchain to claim 30-40% of tax deductions. To put things into perspective, companies from different backgrounds can only deduct up to 15-25%.
In 2018, the Ministry of Science and Technology also took the initiative towards training and education in the blockchain sphere. The government invested $90 million for this project wherein it selected 42 candidates for training courses and tuitions.
The Korean government has also planned to launch blockchain pilot projects in different public sectors. For instance- the ICT Ministry is planning to deploy a supply chain blockchain solution for tracking of livestock from breeding to sales.
Other than these, a number of other projects that include traceability of beef. The focus on using blockchain, supply chain and logistics, a blockchain-based virtual power plant are gaining traction. More importantly, the government has actively been participating and supporting solutions pertaining to this technology.