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South Korea  pilots six public projects to harness blockchain technology

South Korea pilots six public projects to harness blockchain technology

South
Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has recently launched six pilot
Blockchain projects designed to enhance public service efficiency and also be
socially inclusive by including the general public in blockchain application. 

The launch of the pilot Blockchain projects is intended to boost South Korea’s
global competitiveness in Blockchain technology by nurturing potential talent
and creating a blockchain ecosystem that encompasses society, industry and
government.

According
to a press release by the MSIT, the six pilot Blockchain projects address
issues such as  livestock management,
real estate transactions, online voting, shipping logistics, personal customs
clearance and a national E-document distribution system. 

These projects are
designed to expedite current processes and deliver greater convenience for the
public. It is hoped that via these pilot blockchain projects, South Korea

A
livestock management system based on blockchain allows for more efficient and
transparent data sharing at all stages of the livestock management process.
From rearing to slaughter and eventual sales, the use of blockchain in
livestock management is expected to reduce the entire process from 6 days to
just 10 minutes.

On the other hand, a real estate transaction system based on
blockchain eliminates the need for an individual to visit multiple government
agencies to submit necessary documents to secure a mortgage, greatly reducing
transaction costs and making the whole process more convenient.

As a
litmus test for South Korea’s "Blockchain Technology Development
Strategy”, these Blockchain projects
will lay the groundwork for future project expansion and commercialisation from
2019 onwards.

South
Korea’s “Blockchain Technology Development Strategy” consists of three phases:
formation of initial blockchain market, securing a competitive edge in
blockchain technology and establishing blockchain industry infrastructure. 

The
launch of the six pilot Blockchain projects constitutes the first step in the
first phase; based on the performance of these pilot projects, MSIT intends to
then encourage further private-led blockchain projects to address other social
needs such as used car history management to resolve information asymmetry
between car dealers and buyers, school food safety and creating “social
sharing” platforms for sharing resources or filing complaints.

To
support private-led innovation in blockchain Technology, the MSIT has also
designated 8 core aspects in which Blockchain will be applied to. These aspects
include smart farming, drone technology and autonomous transportation.

In
order to secure a competitive edge in blockchain technology, a “Blockchain
technical support center” will also be established to provide private
enterprises with a testbed for blockchain projects and blockchain reliability
evaluation services. This technical support facility is also intended to
standardise all blockchain projects and ensure compatibility with industry
standards.

As
part of the final phase of establishing blockchain industry infrastructure, A
number of “Blockchain playgrounds” and a “Blockchain Research Center” will also
be created.

“Blockchain
playgrounds” provide members of the public with an experiential space to
interact with the latest developments in Blockchain technology, and are
intended to nurture talent in blockchain technology. 

Via “blockchain
playgrounds”, South Korea seeks to “cultivate 10 000 professionals (in the
field of blockchain)”.

The “Blockchain
Research Center” will provide a central hub for further research in blockchain
development. According to the MSIT, it is expected that 3 such research centers
will be in operation by the end of this year, with 8 billion won in researching
funding per year on a six-year basis.

In
addition to establishing “Blockchain playgrounds” and “Blockchain research
centers”, South Korea will also provide support for cloud-based Blockchain
platform services or Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS). To determine the results
of and challenges faced by extensive blockchain technology introduction, a “Block
Chain Regulation Improvement Study Group” will also be founded.

The launch of the six pilot Blockchain projects
underscores the South Korean government’s preference for leveraging on
public-private partnerships to achieve policy objectives. In addition, these
projects also reaffirm South Korea’s push towards digital transformation in the
4th Industrial Revolution in order to capitalise on new technologies such
Blockchain. 

“Besides the internet, smartphones and artificial intelligence,
Blockchain will be the leading technology for digital innovation,” said MSIT
Chief of ICT policy division Yang Hwan-Jung. 

"This Blockchain technology
development strategy will contribute to innovating the domestic
industry and creating a digital
society founded on trust".