South Korea Includes Blockchain in $4.4 Billion Innovative Growth Plan

The crypto technology is one of the key areas that South Korea’s authorities think would spearhead economic growth.

South Korea’s government has unveiled a plan for investment of five trillion Korean won ($4.4 billion) in development of several innovative sectors next year, including blockchain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual coins. The plan is part of the government’s efforts to revive the country’s economy, a statement of Ministry of Economy and Finance showed on Monday.

Dubbed ‘Growth through Innovation’, the initiative aims to build the so-called platform economy and support eight pilot new technology projects.

“The government decided to focus on two platforms, a digital platform for big data analytics and a supply chain for hydrogen fuel cells, and announced four projects, including an education project to develop qualified human capital needed,” the statement noted.

The platform economy has several major areas for investments, including building a big data platform, which will be focused on promoting big data and AI, developing blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the sharing economy.

Another area will be to ease the data division. The government will back small businesses to use big data and to develop digital trade platforms for exporters.

The develop an education program will aim to provide as many as 10,000 qualified workforces over the next five years.

The sum planned for 2019 is by 150% higher compared to the funding this year. The sum for blockchain is nearly doubled – from 579.9 billion Korean won to 1.040 trillion Korean won.

‘Growth through Innovation’ will also back eight pilot projects next year with 3.52 trillion Korean won. The ministry described selected pilots generally, and it is unclear if any of them will use the cryptocurrency technology. The pilots are for future cars, drone services, new energies, healthcare biotechnology, smart factories, smart cities, smart farms, and fintech.

Developed as a distributed ledger technology (DLT), the blockchain has widened its usage far behind cryptocurrency. It is integrated into various sectors, mainly due to the blockchain capabilities to foster operations, make cost savings, and bring transparency by tracking all activities.

This week, one of South Korea’s provinces revealed a plan to become a blockchain island in a bid to attract investments in the local economy.