South Korea’s SEOUL Blockchain protocol Klaytn has committed $20 million over four years to support blockchain development and funding at the National University of Singapore and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Seoul (NUS).
In Coindesk’s 2021 University Rankings for Blockchain, NUS took first place overall, while KAIST came in at number 26. According to QS World University Rankings, both are among the top 50 technology schools in the world and are well-known in Asia for their robust STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs.
Ground X, the blockchain division of messaging app Kakao, introduced Klaytn, which went live in 2019 and now has “millions of users in Korea,” according to the company. According to CoinGecko data, the market cap of its KLAY token, which is the 66th largest cryptocurrency, is over $880 million. Its governing body at launch included electronics giant LG, with crypto exchange Binance and South Korea’s Shinhan Bank joining later.
This month, the blockchain is the second to announce a program for funding higher education. The Algorand Foundation announced the recipients of its $50M blockchain research and education program earlier in August. These universities included Yale, the University of Cape Town, and Monash University in Australia.
At Korea Blockchain Week in Seoul on Monday, Sangmin Seo, director of the Klaytn Foundation, announced the funding, known as the Blockchain Research Center (BRC) Program. According to Seo, in terms of funding grants, the commitment is one of the biggest blockchain research programs.
Daily operations will be managed by a global team led by researchers from KAIST and NUS. The BRC will function in an open-source manner, with all research published as open-source software or in the form of academic papers.
External researchers will also be able to participate in existing research projects or submit their own proposals.
Seo said KAIST and NUS were selected from a pool of participating research institutes that submitted a proposal. Seven proposals were received from 62 research institutes in 11 countries, Seo said. The KAIST and NUS research group was selected by the Klaytn Governance Council.