Ministry of Science and ICT’s Blockchain Project Eliminated During a Preliminary Feasibility Test

Jan 04, 2019

$506 million (570 billion KRW) blockchain project that has been promoted by Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) was eliminated during a preliminary feasibility test. As a result, MSIT’s plan to secure fundamental blockchain technologies through cooperation between South Korean Government, industries, universities, and research institutes has been put on hold. MSIT and relevant organizations are planning to push for this project again as soon as possible.
According to industries, MSIT’s ‘Blockchain Medium and Long-Term Technical Development Project’ was eliminated during a preliminary feasibility test.
Preliminary feasibility test is a system that carefully looks into a new public investment project before it is carried out and it looks at political significance, economic feasibility, and others.
Although a business report submitted by 70 to 80 representatives from industries, universities, and research institutes that are related to Industry 4.0 technologies passed Korea Institute of Science & Technology Evaluation and Planning’s evaluation, which is the first step, it did not pass a preliminary feasibility test, which is the second step, due to insufficient information. Organizations and companies that have been pushing for this project were notified of result from this preliminary feasibility test.
Depending on result, relevant organizations will decide whether to partially modify or completely modify this project.
As a result, MSIT’s plan to establish an executive office and a blockchain technical development business group in January of 2020 and to announce detailed plans and new projects in February of 2020 have been put on hold.
“MSIT notified participating organizations the result from preliminary feasibility test in last December.” said a representative for the industry. “However, MSIT wants them to modify the report and resubmit it by end of May.”

Ministry of Science and ICT’s Blockchain Project Eliminated During a Preliminary Feasibility Test

“It is true that this blockchain project was eliminated during a preliminary feasibility test.” said a representative for MSIT. “Because we saw some parts that lacked details in the report, we want participating organizations to supplement the report and push for this project again in the near future.”
According to a corresponding document, MSIT’s blockchain project is composed of securement of fundamental blockchain technologies, evaluation on credibility of blockchain technologies, and leading blockchain services and ecosystem. This project will promote fundamental technologies such as new distributed ledger technology, Smart Contract protocol technology, and ‘intelligent blockchain agent technology’ converged with AI (Artificial Intelligence) that will increase competitive edge of South Korean industries. It will also develop technologies that will verify such fundamental technologies and prepare leading blockchain services such as distribution chain, document chain, voting chain, medical chain, fund chain, data transaction chain, and factory chain.
According to MSIT’s initial plan, MSIT was planning to form a business group in January of 2020 and receive new projects in March. It will then sign partnership with supervising organizations in April of 2020 and push for this project until 2026.
MSIT decided total budget to be $505 million (568.6 billion KRW), which is the biggest amount out of blockchain projects that are being carried out by South Korean Government. In the past, budget for blockchain projects by South Korean Government’s departments was less than $8.88 million (10 billion KRW). Budget for this project is 5 times more than that of Seoul-si’s ‘Blockchain City Seoul Promotion Plan 2018-2022 ($109 million (122.3 billion KRW))’.
Staff Reporter Ham, Jihyun | goham@etnews.com

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