South Korea’s ministry of science and technology has plans to invest 450 billion won (~$382 million) for blockchain research and development.
The agency would invest the amount over a period of six years from 2021 to 2026, ZDNet Korea reported Thursday.
Citing anonymous government officials, the report further said that the goal of the initiative is to create a foundation of data economy powered by blockchain technology.
“The data trust problem must be solved in order for the data economy to become active. A blockchain can create a trust base for data sharing,” a government official familiar with the plan, was quoted as saying in the report.
The ministry is said to research various blockchain areas, including smart contract reliability, interoperability among blockchains, scalability and consensus algorithms.
South Korea has announced several blockchain initiatives in the past. Most recently, the Korea Internet Security Agency said it will support blockchain-related projects in 2020 with 10.5 billion won (~$9 million) in funding.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is a ministry of the government of South Korea which coordinates science and technology activities in the country. In 2008, it was combined with another ministry and renamed the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. However the current Korean government under Park Geun-hye has re-launched the ministry with the name under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
South Korea, an East Asian nation on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, shares one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders with North Korea. It’s equally known for its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, plus its coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical islands and high-tech cities such as Seoul, the capital.
In July this year, Samsung joined three financial services firms, and three mobile carriers, in a partnership to develop a self-sovereign identity. This could remove the involvement of intermediaries ― mostly government-certified or publicly run entities that manage personal data ― thereby enabling individuals and organizations to assert their identity in online transactions.
The prize for Samsung, Microsoft, Civic and any other company, on any scale, chasing this innovation is enormous as many feel a decentralized blockchain-based Identification system is one of the top applications for blockchain currently. Thus, being first to market with such a system would be a massive boost for the company rolling out this revolutionary new way to identify oneself.
If the South Korean giant can offer its users the chance to secure their identity on the blockchain, and for them to be able to use it for payments and proof, it will be a massive feather in the cap, and potentially a big drawcard for new users.
People are highly aware of the difficulties of proving identity as it currently stands, and the dangers of having centralized systems in control of identification. Therefore, the successful deployment of a blockchain-based digital ID has the power to put competition like Apple way behind.