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.

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.

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 Conglomerate CJ Develops Blockchain for Music Copyright

CJ, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, is developing a blockchain-based music copyright management system using AWS’ Amazon Managed Blockchain Service, according to local media.

Korean news agency Yonhap said in a report Thursday that the initiative is being led by CJ OliveNetworks, a subsidiary of the CJ Corp parent company that operates the beauty retail and technology business of the conglomerate.

The digital copyright system will keep a history of the broadcasting of copyrighted songs and store the information on the blockchain. The goal is to allow the owners and users of the material to share the resulting ledger and arrive at an equitable payment scheme for the use of the copyrighted intellectual property.

“It is very important to have a system that guarantees fairness and transparency among copyright stakeholders”, Kim Eung-do, a director of the DT Convergence Research Institute at CJ OliveNetworks, was quoted as saying in a report from business outlet Hankyung. “The blockchain-based copyright management system will greatly contribute to improving the copyright management process.”

The CJ Group is South Korea’s 14th largest conglomerate and has 31 trillion won ($25.9 billion) in assets, according to the latest Fair Trade Commission data. Its business lines include food and beverage, logistics, beauty stores, IT, entertainment and a cinema chain.

CJ OliveNetworks operates OliveYoung, one of the country’s K-beauty leaders, and has an IT division that does everything from internet of things to cloud computing to Big Data. But a decision was announced in April to split the two and transfer the IT division to CJ Corp. CJ OliveNetworks did not respond to a request for comment.

AWS became available in Korea in 2016. It started offering its Managed Blockchain to the public in May 2019 following the introduction of the service late in 2018. AT&T, Nestle and Accenture are among the clients for the service.

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