The Ministry of Science and Information Communications Technology (ICT) has pledged to increase government support for domestic blockchain companies to speed up the growth of the industry.
Second Vice Minister of Science and ICT Min Won-ki held a meeting with blockchain startups at the office building of blockchain technology firm Blocko in Bundang, Gyeonggi Province, on Sept. 20.
Min listened to entrepreneurs explaining the challenges and difficulties they face in doing business now. The meeting was part of the government’s effort to communicate with companies in the 10 key ICT sectors of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The ministry announced its blockchain technology advancement strategy in June and had a kickoff meeting for a task force to study on how to improve blockchain regulations led by the private sector on the 12th. On the 20th, Second Vice Minister Min directly communicated with the industry, making an aggressive move to promote the blockchain industry. Accordingly, all eyes are on whether the government’s efforts can actually lead to regulation improvement.
Min said, “Considering the fact that there is no significant blockchain technology gap between South Korea and the other countries, it is a good opportunity for South Korea to lead the industry. The government will actively back domestic companies to help them lead the global blockchain market.”
At the meeting, the participants reviewed the pilot blockchain projects the government has initiated to expand the blockchain market and improve public services from earlier this year with an investment of 4.2 billion won (US$3.75 million). The projects include the application of blockchain technology in customs clearance, history of cattle, and simple property transaction.
In addition, they had a free discussion on diverse topics, ranging from blockchain technology improvement plans to regulation improvement.
Blockchain startups suggested that the government create a fair competitive environment between domestic and foreign blockchain solution developers, allow to place separate orders for blockchain technology in project biddings, establish a cloud-based blockchain development environment and provide supports for research and development (R&D) expenditures in the private sector.
In regard to the closed-door meeting, an official from the ministry said, “We decided to hold the meeting in camera in order to hear out what challenges and difficulties the industry faces without making any kind of adjustments. This was to collect a candid opinion from the industry and help the government speak frankly with the industry.”