The South Korean government is indicating once again that it’s bullish on blockchain.
Talking with blockchain-related companies last week, Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance Koo Yun-cheol called the next two to three years a “golden time” in the global blockchain race, noting in particular that only a minor — and therefore surmountable — technology gap exists between South Korea and “advanced” blockchain countries such as United States and Europe.
Koo said the blockchain-related industry is predicted to grow at faster than 80% a year, and that countries around the world are competing to support the technology to corner the market. He said if the South Korean government supports blockchain in an efficient way when the global market has yet to solidify, it’s entirely possible for the country to corner the industry.
The vice minister said Seoul needs to assume a more active role in shaping the initial market. In particular, he said publicly led trial programs with proven market demand should receive full-fledged promotion as main programs, and that the trial program system should be reorganized to operate more varied programs.
According to the Korean-language blockchain media outlet Block Media, a Finance Minister official said what was discussed would serve as the basis for discussions with related institutions to craft strategies to expand the use of blockchain technology, and that the ministry plans to reflect these strategies in next year’s budget.
Coindesk Korea reports that executives from SK Telecom and Samsung SDS also attended the discussion, where they reportedly conveyed to the Finance Ministry their views on the status and potential of blockchain technology in the electronic ID and logistics sectors.
A source told the news outlet that there was a discussion on how to use blockchain in accordance with the government’s decision to actively cultivate “untact” industries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SK Telecom has a stake in getting the government interested in electronic ID — the Korean IT giant is a founding member of one of South Korea’s three major DID alliances. Accordingly, if the Finance Ministry secures in the coming supplementary budget more funding to support the blockchain industry, it’s worth watching to see if DID projects receive particular public attention.
Also in the Korean blockchain space…
(By Lee Min-young, Korea Times, April 13)
Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC), genome-based shared economy platform MyGenomeBox, Korea Blockchain Entrepreneurs Association Group and Korea CIS Entrepreneur Association have signed an agreement to export blockchain-based bio-education platforms to CIS natons, starting with Uzbekistan. EDCG is the parent company of COVID-19 test kit maker Solgent.
(By Brian Newar, TheNews.asia, April 14)
Binance Korea has run into some early trouble with its partner bank, Woori Bank, with the latter suspending deposits from the former due to the exchange’s use of a so-called “honeycomb” (or “beehive”) account and related disputes. A court has since ruled the bank’s measure unjustified.