South Korean Govt to Fund $3.2M to Blockchain Startups That Create Economic, Social Value

The Government of South Korea has made yet another progressive move to support blockchain development after it announced $3.2 million funding to startups. This initiative is a collaboration of the country’s Ministry of Science & ICT (Information and Communications Technology) together with the National Institute of Information and Communication Industry Promotion (NIPA).

According to a report published on March 16, the two will establish a program dubbed ‘Blockchain Technology Validation Support in 2020’ to implement the initiative. The plan is to allocate proceeds from the funding to nine potential blockchain-oriented projects. Ideally, each should receive $360,000 which is roughly 450 million Won.

Given the competitive nature of South Korea’s blockchain innovation market, this pilot funding program has established a standard selection criterion. Prospective projects must present a fundamental value in the following areas; job creation, business continuity, tech feasibility and expected profits in the future. Park Yoon-kyu, the minister for ICT, said their intention is to provide a suitable environment for growth;

“We plan to support domestic specialized companies to rapidly grow and activate the ecosystem in the early stage of the blockchain market.”

South Korea’s Blockchain & Crypto Friendly Ecosystem

This Asian economy has emerged amongst the most advanced in FinTech regulation especially with digital assets oversight. It is actually a benchmark for other leading economies that are struggling to integrate crypto legally.

Just recently, legislators in South Korea passed an important bill that is expected to create harmony within crypto operations. This new law ‘Special Financial Information’ outlined a clearer path for exchanges offering services within South Korea. Most notably, was an emphasis of AML and KYC compliance by following guidelines from the Financial Action Task Force to the latter. Furthermore, these entities will be required to get a license from Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Financial Services Commission.

Apart from the crypto laws, South Korea’s Central Bank has in the past hinted at blockchain based bonds. The country has been quite successful with green bonds in the past years; this might actually be a driving factor to host bonds on a distributed ledger sooner than expected.

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