Italy’s new decree reserved more than $46 million for companies who want to set up subsidiaries to research blockchain. Companies will be able to apply to this budget from 21 September 2022, either individually or jointly.
Italy’s Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, explained that this initiative aims to support companies’ investments in innovative technologies to modernize production systems. He added:
“The challenge of competitiveness – he adds – requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and grasp the potential of new technologies.”
Initiatives investigating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will also be acceptable.
Any blockchain, AI, and IoT application on production systems, education, agriculture, environment, infrastructure, tourism, information security, and aerospace can be considered for funding.
Italy on crypto
While not the most embracing nation, Italians have relatively high crypto adoption rates.
Based on numbers from 2021, Italy has ranked the 10th country with the highest crypto adoption amongst 27 polled countries. Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum emerged as the most popular coins in the country. A report by Chainalysis, on the other hand, ranked Italy as the seventh in crypto adoption, closely following Germany and the U.K.
Regulation-wise, crypto-assets fall under the responsibility of the country’s market watchdog Consob. In June 2021, Consob said that more than 4,000 crypto-assets were in circulation and that the government would have to take measures to mitigate risks. Since then, there have been no announcements of crypto legislation.
However, the county subjected all virtual asset providers to comply with the AML rules in early 2022 and went as far as blocking Binance from Italy. Another indicator of Italy’s crypto adoption came from Binance, which didn’t give up on the Italian market and re-entered the country with a new registration.
In January 2022, Italy’s biggest private bank Banca Generali announced that it’ll allow its private clients to purchase and hold Bitcoin until the end of 2022. The bank started the technical integrations. However, the launch is yet to be announced.
Colombia and Korea
Colombia and Korea come forward as two countries that recently invested in blockchain as a nation.
Like Italy, South Korea announced that it set a budget to exploit the potential of the metaverse industry. The $117.1 million budget will be used to develop a metaverse where Korea can educate its citizens, host globally prominent minds, collaborate, and create new jobs. The country has already started the first step of its metaverse plan and aims to become the biggest metaverse market by 2026.
Colombia, on the other hand, very recently announced that it incorporated a blockchain-based solution into its national systems. The new project is used in Colombia’s National Land Agency and can register more than 100,000 contracts.