SEOUL, South Korea — Blockchain protocol Klaytn has committed $20 million over four years to support blockchain development and funding.
Klaytn Foundation director Sangmin Seo announced the funding, called the Blockchain Research Center (BRC) Program, at Korea Blockchain Week on Monday. Seo said the commitment is one of the largest blockchain research programs in terms of funding grants.
Day-to-day operations will be run by a global team headed by researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Seoul and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The blockchain is the second to announce an academic funding program this month. Earlier in August, the Algorand Foundation named the winners of its $50 million blockchain research and education program, including Yale, University of Cape Town and Monash University in Australia.
NUS ranked top worldwide in CoinDesk's 2021 University Rankings for Blockchain and KAIST placed 26th. Both are in the top 50 technology schools globally, according to QS World University Rankings, and are known in Asia for their strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.
Klaytn, introduced by messaging app Kakao's blockchain arm Ground X, went live in 2019 and now has "millions of users in Korea," it said. Its KLAY token has over $880 million in market cap, according to CoinGecko data, making it the 66th largest cryptocurrency. Its governing body at launch included electronics giant LG, with crypto exchange Binance and South Korea's Shinhan Bank joining later.
BRC will operate in an open-source manner, where research conducted will be publicly disclosed as research papers or open-source software. External researchers will 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 who 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.
CORRECTION (Aug. 10, 07:26 UTC): Clarifies that the fund was not awarded exclusively to the two named schools. They are helping run the program.
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