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South Korea Invests $4.4 Billion in Blockchain Technology

Despite showing reluctance toward cryptocurrencies, the South Korean government revealed its intention to “nurture” eight growing sectors of the domestic economy–including blockchain technology.

Korea’s Blockchain Push

On Aug. 13, local news outlet Yonhap reported that South Korea set aside $4.4 billion (5 trillion won) to invest in distributed ledger systems and explore various administrative frameworks for the technology.

The move was vetted by Korea’s finance ministry, according to an official press release, with the government agreeing to increase tech-focused budget allocations to new-age technologies (such as IoT, AI and blockchain) by more than 65 percent compared to 2017.

The press release also revealed the investments would help facilitate the country’s tech economy in addition to speeding up innovation and growth. Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, meanwhile, expects to increase this budget to $8.8 million in the next five years, indicating the country’s firm initiate.

Korea intends to train and employ 10,000 “specialists” from the eight aforementioned technologies until 2023, allocating $53 million to this effort.

The project, entitled “Growth through Innovation,” details a plan to set up a big data platform using AI and blockchain technology to ensure data management security and boosting the “sharing economy.”

Blockchain Surprises Coming Up?

The press release also hints at promoting digital trade platforms for exporters, and given Australian, Singaporean and Chinese experiments with blockchain-based logistics, Korea may be primed to follow its peers’ footsteps.

For example, Korea has allocated $68 million to the development of smart cities, indicating additional blockchain and IoT implementation.

South Korea’s interest in blockchain technology is in line with major economies around the world–whole-heartedly embracing the blockchain while rejecting a widespread application of the distributed technology, cryptocurrency.

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