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Korea Plans to Adopt Blockchain in Seven Sectors with a Goal to Promote Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) (June 25)

Korea Plans to Adopt Blockchain in Seven Sectors with a Goal to Promote Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)


The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), led by Minister Choi Kiyoung, announced the Blockchain Technology Diffusion Strategy for a Hyper-connected and uncontact Society with Trust, an inter-ministerial strategy for blockchain, at the 16th general meeting of the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution(PCFIR) on June 24.

Blockchain is garnering attention as a critical technology for uncontact economy due to its potential to improve data transparency and prevent digital forgery, enabling greater trust in transactions.

The MSIT established the Blockchain Technology Development Strategy two years ago, providing steady support for blockchain market creation; this year’s Blockchain Technology Diffusion Strategy is an updated version of the previous strategy, developed together with other relevant ministries.

The details of the Blockchain Technology Diffusion Strategy are as follows:

Adopt blockchain in seven sectors

Apply blockchain in seven sectors, centering around tasks that can contribute to blockchain’s benefits, such as greater trust, uncontact economy and higher efficiency.

- Build a blockchain-based online voting system where stakeholders can have direct access to the results of vote counting (2021-2022).

- Advance the pilot donation platform built in 2019 to store the data of entire donation process on blockchains, from fundraising to donation delivery, and allow donors to view transaction reports on mobile devices (2021-2022).

- Validate whether blockchain is effective in eliminating overlapping benefit payments, starting with individual development account (IDA)* programs (2020) and expand to other welfare benefits programs (2021-2023), with participation of relevant ministries.

* The government provides financial assistance in proportion to the amount saved in the beneficiary’s IDA

- Apply blockchain technology in all stages of transactions for renewable energy, from bidding and signing contracts to payments, in order to enable transparency in transactions between Korea Energy Agency, Korea Power Exchange, conventional power plants and renewable energy power plants (2021-2022).

- Use a demonstration project in Busan, a regulation-free zone for blockchain development in Korea, to adopt a blockchain-based local digital currency as the groundwork for uncontact transaction (2021-2022).

- Use blockchain to prevent digital forgery of real estate data, facilitate real-time sharing of real estate data, and automate the process of real estate transactions (2020-2024).

- Build an integrated customer management system for poster service in order to reduce inconvenience caused by segmented customer service system (post, banking, insurance, etc.) (2021-2023).

- Explore public and private services in which blockchain can be adopted to continuously identify areas in which blockchain adoption will be effective (2021).

Promote DIDs service as an essential infrastructure of uncontact economy

The use of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) service will be promoted as part of technologies tailored to “uncontact” economy, providing identification online and enabling individuals to manage their own personal data.

To this end, a principle* to boost the use of decentralized identifier technologies has been established and policies will be implemented in a coherent manner.

* It is aimed at prioritizing convenience of citizens, making full use of the private ecosystem, and supporting identification of private services

 An integrated system for setting up and supporting public platform will be established by      2021, so that individuals do not have to install a separate application for each institution when using DIDs-based public service.

- In order to respond to the emergence of new means of authentication amid amendments made to the Digital Signature Act, support will be provided from 2021 for interoperability among DIDs platforms to be increased and DIDs to be aligned with other identification and authentication technologies.

- A DIDs council based on public and private partnership will be operated in the second half of 2020 to carry out pilot projects for identifying innovative DIDs services and promote the spread of private ecosystem.

Establish a comprehensive support system for blockchain companies

A comprehensive support system for blockchain companies will be established to address issues such as blockchain companies suffering from insufficient profit models in providing services and a lack of awareness raised from companies in demand. 

Support will be provided in utilizing Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS)* for SMEs and startups to easily commercialize their business ideas with blockchain technologies. In addition, areas specialized for BaaS platform in Korea will be identified and the service development will be supported from 2021.

* A cloud computing service that supports blockchain services to be developed with ease

Furthermore, measures such as networking of companies in demand, consulting and technical verification will be implemented from 2020 to facilitate new business models.

- A technology innovation support center will be established in 2021 to provide an environment for conducting large-scale experiments and technical verification aimed at improving the quality of developed services.

- Promising blockchain companies will be supported from 2021 to help them enter foreign markets in the New Southern region based on the characteristics of each country.


Develop next-generation blockchain technologies

To reduce the technological gap with advanced countries (2.3 years behind the U.S.) and strengthen the ecosystem of blockchain technologies, measures will be taken to secure original technologies and industrial convergence technologies.

- Original technologies will be developed by 2025 to remove the limits of blockchain technologies in ways such as improving the speed for processing transactions and managing large-scale data.

- Blockchain technologies will be developed in line with leading technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, such as AI and IoT, and efforts will be made to develop convergence technologies that can be applied to industries by 2025.

Starting in 2021, efforts will be made to come up with response measures in global standardization to help Korean companies increase market competitiveness in ways such as supporting international standardization of DIDs technologies.

Create an innovative ecosystem for blockchain

Relevant ministries will work together from 2020 to come up with specific measures for tackling legal and institutional barriers that hinder policy implementation.

Personal Data Protection Act, Electronic Document Act, Digital Signature Act, etc.

- In 2021, a regulatory sandbox program will be deployed to projects high in demand even before easing regulations.

- A guideline on development and security will be established in 2020 to reduce trial and error of companies and institutions willing to deploy blockchain technologies.

 The government will carry out demonstration of the projects in Busan City, a regulation-free  zone for blockchain development, for those that have institutional difficulties to be commercialized or can easily be promoted across the nation from 2021.

- The government will integrate and manage the pilot projects that have been separately operated by the public and private sectors and will expand the share of the multi-year support projects in order to promote excellent projects from 2021.

To bolster training for high-quality talent in response to changes in market demand, the number of the blockchain research centers within graduate schools eligible to receive support (five in 2022) will be increased. Moreover, the courses offered by the Combined Blockchain Training Center will be reorganized to mostly be advanced ones from 2021.

- The government will establish a guideline for systematic talent cultivation and will operate an integrated talent development program that can check the career of experts from 2021.

The government will expand the scale and scope of the Blockchain Promotion Week to improve the perception of the general public and will hold technology and policy forums to discuss difficulties and challenges of companies, bringing together the public and private sectors from 2020.

Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung said “if we turn a COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, Korea can make a leap forward a blockchain powerhouse,”

“the Korean government will provide systematic support not to miss this window of opportunity by implementing the Blockchain Technology Diffusion Strategy,“ added Minister Choi.