Senior Officer Marlos Pomp and Chief Executive Hwang Rayol of Hillstone Partners "The Dutch Blockchain Policy Core to the Private-led Bottom-Up Approach"
Following the announcement of 'Blockchain Technology Development Strategy' recently, South Korean Government is also pushing to legislate regarding virtual currency. They believe that it is difficult to fall behind in blockchain, which is the core of the fourth industrial revolution. However, there is a divergence of opinion on the extent to which the role of the authorities is appropriate between regulation. The Netherlands is a country worthy of reference. Since 2016, the Netherlands has been working together with the government and the private sector to carry out a pilot project, a variety of public sector blockchain projects that are closely related to real life. It initially started with three projects and increased the number to 35 including insurance, logistics and social welfare services. The pilot program will be selected and designated as a national pilot project from next year. Marlos Pomp, a Dutch blockchain official in charge of these pilot projects, recently visited Korea. He comes from the private sector, not from government officials, and is a person who can balance out public and private blockchain projects. The interview was conducted with Hwang Ra-yeol, CEO of the Hillstone Partners. The Netherlands, a blockchain-developed country, said, "The government cooperates but does not lead." ▶ Hwang: I wonder why the Dutch government was so interested in blockchain business. The Republic of Korea is finally showing growing interest in blockchain. How did it start in the Netherlands? ▶ For Dutch government officials, I have been teaching new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain. In the early days, bureaucrats did not understand blockchain concepts and practical applications. So we conducted pilot program using blockchain. I proposed to learn and acquire the concept through this. This is why the project started. ▶ Hwang: What made you interested in blockchain? ▶Formf: I am interested in the original new technology. Not only blockchain but also AI and robotics. Interest has grown as I read papers after hearing various news stories. He also participated in an educational program held in the U.S. Although we are learning and getting information through various channels, we still have a lot to learn about blockchain. There are several things that I learned in the field during the pilot program. ▶Hwang: It must have gone through a very difficult process to develop personal interest into government policy. I would have explained the effectiveness of blockchain technology and persuaded the government to come forward. ▶Forms: A little different. It did not start by explaining or persuading the government to do so. As I said earlier, I was teaching blockchain to senior officials when I started the pilot program. This is an extension of blockchain experience education, not a program to promote the project. In the beginning, officials did not understand the blockchain well. But it was open to the need to learn new technologies. The Dutch government's policy to encourage officials to educate IT also played a part. ▶ Hwang: The Korean government is also interested in blockchain technology, but it lacks clear direction and detailed implementation methods. It would be helpful if you could elaborate on the Dutch case. ▶ After the government set a use case, blockchain developers and government officials set up a start-up together to come up with ideas and make prototypes. The response from senior officials was positive. Although it was difficult to find necessary people and set up a team, the main point is that it started through a start-up in which the government and private developers collaborate. If it was the way the private sector suggested to the government, it might have been difficult to realize. I think it was possible because the government participated in the form of collaboration from the beginning. I tried to expand blockchain education through simple experiments and prototypes. In the process of answering various questions from different ministries, the content itself has developed. Officials' interest in new technologies was hard to expect five years ago, but things changed as IT technology spread across all sectors. Through the pilot project, we understand and learn each other's roles by actually working on public-private partnerships. Currently, blockchain officials have been assigned to various government ministries. We are also working on creating a department in charge, so we expect that projects and cooperation will become more active in the future. ▶ Hwang: It seems quite different from Korea, which is conducted in a top- Because blockchain technology is not a complete type, it seems desirable to expand scale one step by one by one. In that context, the Dutch government's attempt seems meaningful. How do you assess the project's performance? ▶Formf: It is difficult to organize all projects in a single word as they are all different in character and diverse in different projects Regardless of good and bad project performance, blockchain departments will be created by each ministry, their respective roles will be identified, and they will be prepared for future blockchain business expansion. In other words, it is satisfying that there is a natural environment for blockchain businesses. Now, projects at the stage leading to nationwide or international blockchain projects are beginning to emerge, and the process of identifying and improving the various variables that have not been experienced so far is expected to solve the problem. Take logistics-related projects for example. There are many challenges to overcome, including the need for cooperation between countries to cross borders and how the rules will be set. ▶ Hwang: "The Dutch government's role is to help, not to lead." I heard that the Netherlands actively utilizes blockchain technology while pursuing a small government. I think the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, a public-private partnership that was launched last year, is a role model for a very good government role. if judged by the project manager of a project. ▶ The "Filot" project was a kind of experiment under the management of the Dutch government. Then last year, the economic ministry set up a joint DBC involving the government and the private sector. This can also simulate government-participated projects or directly provide a test environment. It provides part of the city as a test bed for projects related to streetlights. For logistics projects, there are issues that need to be discussed between countries to implement the idea of reducing paperwork processing time using blockchain. The government took on the role of discussing with foreign governments. ▶ Hwang: The domestic blockchain industry is still noisy due to 'regulation' problems. The Netherlands has never had such an issue. ▶ Of course, regulations can also be considered as government roles. I heard that South Korea is actively discussing about IPOs and regulations. Regulations are not yet highlighted in the Netherlands. The ongoing blockchain project is funded by the government or companies, so the need for ICOs is not high. Of course, there are voices calling for a European Union-level discussion on ICOs and regulations. However, there is an environment that can be fully tested and verified prior to ICO. I think the government played a big role here. Rather than fully equipping regulations and systems and starting businesses in order, I recommend creating a related environment and supplementing the system to suit the progress through cooperation and discussion. ▶ Hwang: "Scale-up" is a necessary step for verified blockchain companies. What do you think about fund-raising in this regard? ▶ The most regrettable part is time. Collaboration and coordination between countries took a lot of time. We can't help it because we have a different environment. Of course, there were positive aspects as well. While discussing various topics in diverse settings, he also gained unexpected inspiration or built a network. From experience, I think what kind of project you get in the process of project experience was as much and important. It is also necessary to understand each other rather than to proceed with actual work immediately. The relationship between private investors and the government is a very important topic at the stage of full-scale expansion after creating a successful model. The Netherlands also has no optimal investment solution yet. It is currently experimenting with variety of investment models, including conventional methods. Close public-private cooperation is also required in this process. ▶ Hwang: I think the government played a significant role just by building infrastructure and verifying projects at the beginning. Since then, the proportion of the private sector has to increase. It was a short time, but it was one place to think about many things. I think the Dutch case, which embodies the Bottom-Up model of public-private partnership, will become a role model.