The South Korean government will support the development and use of blockchain technology in seven sectors, including online voting.

Seoul will also promote the use of DID to activate contactless services.

During a meeting of a presidential council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Wednesday, the Ministry of Science and ICT announced a strategic plan to spread blockchain technology.

The ministry called blockchain a core technology of the “contactless economy” as it boosts trust in transactions by promoting data transparency and preventing forgery and tampering.

Under its plan, the ministry will cultivate seven projects by 2024. These are:

  • Creating an online voting system
  • Building and developing an online donation system
  • Preparing a system to prevent people from double-dipping into social benefits
  • Building a blockchain-based system to manage renewable energy transactions
  • Getting more out of the Busan blockchain regulation-free zone and adopting local digital currencies
  • Improving smart contract-based real estate transaction services
  • Building a customer management system for the postal service

The ministry also plans to begin operating a public-private DID consulting group in the second half of the year.

The group would work to activate DID services.

Additionally, the ministry is building a support system to help blockchain companies that have failed to find profit models as the global ICO market contracts.

In particular, the government will actively support the use of blockchain as a service (BaaS) so that SMEs can easily put blockchain technology to use.

The ministry will also push legal changes to remove regulatory hurdles holding back the blockchain industry, though the plan announced on Wednesday excludes cryptocurrency.

Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung said if Seoul turns the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, South Korea could become a leading nation in blockchain, a base technology of the hyperconnected and contactless era. He pledged that the government would provide systematic support through its blockchain proliferation strategy so that South Korea avoids missing this “golden time.”

The Iconist Note: ICON has experience with online voting, having participated in a trial voting program with Seoul Metropolitan Government. And of course, ICONLOOP has plenty of experience with DID. Accordingly, the Ministry of Science and ICT’s plan could provide opportunities, especially given ICON and ICONLOOP’s history of collaboration with the public sector.