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In South Korea’s 2019 budget they have set aside KRW40 Billion ($35,443,800) to develop blockchain technologies, which is a three-fold increase on the 2018 budget for blockchain. The plan is to expand the number of blockchain projects and focus on distributed ledger technology, inter-individual (P2P) transactions and reliability enhancement.
Part of the drive for this decision is South Korea not wanting to be left behind, we are now seeing governments around the world investing in blockchain and as a world leader in technological advancement, South Korea wants to make their mark on the industry.
Professor Han Ho-hyun of Kyunghee University said, “I admit that it is difficult to secure 40 billion won by tripling next year, but I have to spend more budget. The size of other countries is tens of trillion. We can invest more than 100 trillion won in three years.”
Notable World Government Blockchain Projects
- Spain: On 25 April this year Spanish global bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA) became the first global bank to use blockchain technology throughout the whole loan issuing process.
- China: The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is aiding in the development of a blockchain based trading platform. The PBoC this year also revealed plans to aggressively invest in financial technology, including blockchain. China’s districts have set up their own funding for blockchain, often in the billions of dollars.
- Japan: Japan is set to launch “Block Chain Business Camp Tokyo”, a two-month program aimed at stimulating innovation in the industry.
- USA: The US Government has started issuing grants to universities researching blockchain technology, in August they granted $818,433 to the University of California-San Diego.
Of course, it’s not just governments that are investing, major companies like Apple, IBM, JP Morgan, Toyota, Samsung, Microsoft and Alphabet (Google) has massively increased their focus on blockchain in recent years. As well as the large companies, we have the startups popping up everywhere trying to break into the emerging market.
The investment of governments is particularly significant. Companies can often afford to take greater risks, but governments are playing with tax payers money and have a multitude of issues that need money thrown at them, so setting aside money for blockchain development shows that they see it as a risk worth taking, something that will improve the country, and something that is here to stay.