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KPC4IR Publishes Global Standards Mapping Initiative 2.0
The report highlights South Korea as an early adopter of blockchain in policy and business The KAIST Policy Center for the 4IR (KPC4IR), one of the nine working groups of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), published the Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI) 2.0, highlighting Korea as an early adopter of blockchain. The report also offers an overview of how blockchain was adopted through an analysis of policy and business cases of South Korea. In partnership with 131 institutions, GSMI 2.0 maps, catalogues, and analyzes data from 187 jurisdictions, 479 industry consortia, 38 technical standards, and 389 university courses and degree programs to provide a holistic view of the industry’s global activity. Among the nine working groups, KAIST is the sole investigator for researching South Korea’s adoption of blockchain for policy and business. It says that in terms of policy and regulations for blockchain as a virtual asset, South Korea amended the Act on Reporting and Using Specific Financial Transaction Information to comply with the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations. The report also reviewed South Korea’s blockchain R&D. Seventeen ministries have funded 417 projects to cultivate blockchain inventions since 2015. Significantly, the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Blockchain Convergence Technology Development Program supported 50 projects between 2018 and 2021. Their R&D focused on virtual assets during the initial stage in 2015 and soon shifted its application to various domains, including identification and logistics. The report noted that the Korea Customs Service was one of the first agencies in the world to introduce blockchain into customs clearance. Through collaborations with the private sector, the Korean government has also created the world’s first blockchain-based vaccination certification services and extended it to a globally integrated decentralized identity system. Finally, the report states that these South Korean cases highlight three ambiguities in blockchain policies. First, blockchain involves both financial and industrial features. Thus, it needs a new regulatory framework that embraces the two features together. Second, integrating services on a blockchain platform will bring forth seamless automation of industries across the manufacturing, financial, and public sectors. South Korea, which already has well-proven manufacturing capabilities, is in need of a comprehensive strategy to encompass multiple services on one platform. Third, the two cases of the government’s adoption of blockchain suggest that innovations in blockchain can be facilitated through effective cooperation among government ministries and agencies regarding particular businesses in the private sector. Consequently, the government’s policy is not simply to invest in virtual assets but also to develop a virtual-physical world woven by blockchain. The new environment demands that South Korea transform its policy stances on blockchain, from specialization to comprehensiveness and cooperation. Professor So Young Kim who heads the center said, “This report shows the main lessons from South Korea for other countries adopting blockchain. We will continue to work closely with our partners including the World Economic Forum to investigate many other global issues.”
KPC4IR Helping to Create Global Standards for Virtual Transactions
KPC4IR will join the task force for the Global Implementation of Travel Rule Standards The KAIST Policy Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (KPC4IR) will participate in a global initiative to create global standards for virtual asset transactions. As a member of the GI-TRUST (Global Implementation of Travel Rule Standards) task force, the KPC4IR will develop technical standards and relevant policies that support the global implementation of the travel rule for virtual assets in compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF). The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 by the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In June 2019, the FATF extended its Recommendation 16, commonly known as the “travel rule,” to virtual asset services providers (VASPs), requiring both financial institutions and VASPs to aggregate information on the senders and recipients of wire transfers and exchange this information between parties to create a suitable audit trail. According to the FATF’s recommendation and the G20’s support, jurisdictions, especially G20 member countries, have now applied the travel rule to their respective local laws. Korea also amended the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information in March 2020 to include virtual assets in their regulatory scope by March 2022. The GI-TRUST task force will collaborate with global and local organizations developing travel rule technologies and offer a neutral assessment of proposed solutions. Their activities are aimed at standardizing related authentication protocols and security technologies that help VASPs comply with the travel rule. The task force will also aid in the pilot testing of travel rule solutions for certain VASPs in Korea. Afterwards, the task force will report on the performance and reliability of the tested travel rule solutions for actual virtual asset transactions, in compliance with the FATF’s guidance. Besides the KPC4IR, the GI-TRUST task force includes the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA), and Korea Blockchain Association (KBCA). Director of the KPC4IR Professor So Young Kim will co-chair the task force. Professor Kim said their approach should be prudential in dealing with the regulations that rely on secure real-name data on top of the opposing governance style of pseudonymization, distribution, and recombination. She explained, “KAIST has designed the co-evolution of technologies and institutions in conjunction with the global leaders’ groups such as the World Economic Forum and the EC Joint Research Center.” She expects KAIST’s interdisciplinary, global cooperation to untie the entangled problem between regulations and technologies that obstruct future pathways.
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