Government blockchain initiatives take hold in New Zealand and South Korea

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

BlockchainNZ, a blockchain industry group based in New Zealand, wants the country to consider the benefits it can derive out of the disruptive technology and allow its specialists to work together with the government to formulate a strategy concerning the use of cryptographic technology.

According to the industry group’s press release, it will be requesting a national blockchain strategy from the government on May 30. Moreover, BlockchainNZ’s executive director Mark Pascall will be giving a presentation to the New Zealand parliament’s economic development, science, and innovation select committee hearing on the possible economic advantages of incorporating blockchain tech solutions in the country. Topics in this session will include blockchain, bitcoin, smart contracts, security tokens, and decentralised autonomous organisations.

While highlighting the financial scope of the blockchain technology in 2019, Pascall said: “So, we really want government to take blockchain seriously and produce a strategy. We can help them with that so we strike a balance between trying to plan for an unpredictable future and taking some action so we realize huge potential economic benefits for the country.”

Another news report suggests that the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT is also planning to run a follow-up study on blockchain regulations.

The study, known as the “Blockchain Regulation Improvement Study Group”, is an initiative of the government’s science and technology unit to explore on improving the blockchain technology so that it can be implemented across institutions. The Study Group, which was introduced in June 2018, initially focused on improving legal regulations related to blockchain technology, including personal privacy, smart contracts, electronic documents and digital signatures, and the application of distributed computing systems.

Now, according to their current plans for 2019, the research group will primarily centre on five institutional areas where blockchain has potential to help achieve widespread adoption. These industries are logistics and distribution, public services, healthcare, finance and energy.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is one of the best examples showing how blockchain greatly benefits government-related operations.

The intergovernmental economic organisation is highly motivated by the opportunities of blockchain. It held the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum in Paris back in 2018, which was attended by senior decision makers, experts, academics, and other stakeholders the event. The event, which was focused on the benefits of blockchain, explained how the technology could influence the society, economy, and lives in general.

As the OECD influences financial operations and blacklists offending countries, governments across the world are incentivised to develop policies ensuring that they are not the subject of economic sanctions and lost business opportunities.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.

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