Blockchain technology could help government agencies simplify managing, accessing, using, and securing sensitive data. Image: AFP

Sixty-two percent of the firms in South Korea’s blockchain sandbox city of Busan do not know anything about the technology, according to a surprising report from the Busan Research Institute.

The South Korean federal government has considered Busan a “regulation-free” zone for blockchain development since last year. The city has launched various projects in the blockchain space including plans for a blockchain-based virtual power plant, and even its own municipal cryptocurrency, Cointelegraph reports.

This makes the underwhelming results of the “Report on Activation of the Busan Blockchain Free Regulatory Zone,” reported by local media outlet Fn News, all the more surprising. 

Ninety-one percent of the 100 surveyed firms involved in various industries said that they had no plans to adopt blockchain technology.

In a separate survey of 26 blockchain-related firms, 23% complained about regulatory obstacles.

Furthermore, 19% of blockchain enterprises also said they felt alone in terms of development, blaming a lack of state support for blockchain adoption, while 15.4% raised concerns about a lack of the technology and human resources needed to move forward.

The report also suggested ways the government could better support blockchain companies in the city: “In terms of the market, various related companies must be attracted and aggregated. It is necessary to support marketing support for finding demanding companies, nurturing professional manpower, and technology development.”

It added that current blockchain implementation plans are restricted to a large degree to service sectors, and suggested that the technology should be applied to the city’s manufacturing and industrial sectors.