The government of South Korea has announced plans for a
multi-trillion won “new
deal” stimulus package which will target digital
technologies such as AI, 5G and blockchain. The “new deal” aims
to tackle the Korean economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 while
laying the “groundwork” for long-term prosperity.
Korea’s already-faltering economy was hit hard by the pandemic, and youth unemployment now stands at 10%. In justifying the “new deal”, President Moon Jae-in characterized Korea as a “follower economy”, “unequal society” and carbon-reliant nation in desperate need of reform from the ground up.
He framed the
program as one that will revitalize Korea in the long-term and
transform it into a global “pacesetter”. Moon estimated that the
ambitious project will cost 160 trillion won ($133 billion) over 5
years and create 1.9 million new jobs.
main pillars are the “green new deal” and the
“digital new deal”, which respectively pledge to turn South Korea
into a low-carbon society and harness the potential of technologies
such as AI, 5G, and blockchain.
technology will be used
by both the green and digital new deals and play a role in new
systems for online voting, the welfare state, and renewable energy,
reports local news outlet Chosun.
the “green new deal”, blockchain technology will facilitate
transactions between new and old power generation companies based on
transparent and immutable data. It can also be used for bidding and
settlement of renewable energy transactions.
On the digital side,
blockchain will help with the allocation of benefits for low-income
individuals. It will also provide the basis for a new online voting
system that will be used in the 2022 presidential election.
blockchain-related plans include the use of distributed identity
(DID) in public services. This has in fact already started with the
recently announced driver’s
license verification service and Busan
City’s DID service. But the aim is to create an integrated
public DID platform so that users don’t need to install multiple
identity apps on their phone. When it comes to DID, Korea is the
leader, but it’s multiple solutions need to interoperate.
South Korea has been
at the forefront of blockchain innovation for some time. Two years
ago, the government announced a tax
break for companies specialising in blockchain.
Meanwhile Busan, Korea’s second most populous city, recently
declared itself a “regulation-free
blockchain zone” and implemented a blockchain-based
logistics system into its bustling port.