The South Korean government’s Ministry of Science and ICT has announced a major blockchain development programme, with plans to invest up to $207m (£156m) into public sector and select private ventures by 2022.
The agency initiative, which will launch with initial funding of $9m (£6.8m) reserved for six pilot projects in the public sphere, has ambitions to adopt cross-sector blockchain infrastructure ahead of any other country, securing 90% of the technology level within four years.
According to CoinTelegraph, early pilot projects will include livestock supply chain management, customs clearance, online voting, real estate transactions, cross-border e-document distribution and shipping logistics, where the technology will be analysed for its improvements to information-sharing efficiency and transparency.
The ministry also says it will invest up to $720k (£542k) a every 12 months for up to six years to develop a blockchain research centre, with plans to educate citizens around the technology and ultimately nurture 10,000 blockchain experts by 2022.
On private innovations, the ministry says it will “promote private-led block-based national projects that enable citizens to experience the benefits of blockchain technology and reduce unnecessary social costs”.
According to its announcement, that includes projects relating to “smart cities” and “smart factory” innovations, and Blockchain-as-a-Service solutions that enable small and medium-sized businesses to implement the technology.
These private investments, the agency hopes, will lead to increased utilisation of blockchain and help strengthen its overall demand in South Korea.