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Korean Government to Back Blockchain Startups With $9 Million Fund in 2020


The Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) will be supporting blockchain-related projects in 2020 with 10.5 billion won, about $9.0 million, in funding, but has ruled out supporting of crypto projects or crypto exchanges.

It will be the third year of such support from the KISA, which is under the Ministry of Science and ICT, according to the announcement from the agency on Monday. The plans were discussed at a meeting held in Seoul on Friday last week.

About 10 projects will be chosen for next year while one or two of them will receive funding over a number of years. The maximum funding will be $1.2 million per project, according to Min Kyung-sik, head of KISA’s blockchain center, as quoted by Coindesk Korea.

Both public sector and private sector projects will be eligible to apply and application will be taken through Nov. 11 with results to be announced on Dec. 20. The public sector includes any of the 400 government and government-related entities, such as central agencies, regional organizations and public institutions

While KISA ruled out the support of cryptocurrency projects and crypto exchanges, it does leave the door open for the projects pursued by major financial institutions that may involve tokens.

That said, the 2020 plan is a step back from the commitment this year. In 2019, 12 projects were supported with a total of $11 million of funding.

The program this year included a direct funding of $6 million and expense reimbursement of $5.4 million. However, the average funding per project will remain the same in 2020, KISA notes.

Projects this year included a donation platform, Hyundai Autoever’s used car service platform and the Initial blockchain ID platform–which was supported by all the major phone companies in the country.

Other projects in 2019 included a records-management system for the National Archives, a network for the sharing of medical information, a system for food safety, an electric-vehicle battery record system and a carbon-emissions record system.

During the meeting held last week, the Korea National IT Promotion Agency (NIPA) also promised continued support for blockchain-related projects.

Korean won image via Shutterstock


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