SK Holdings C&C – the information technology wing of the SK Group, one of Korea’s biggest conglomerates – and New York-based blockchain software studio ConsenSys have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to “develop new blockchain business models and further the development of the blockchain ecosystem in South Korea.”
According to SK Holdings C&C‘s Korean-language press release from Dec. 4, the Korean IT company wishes to apply ConsenSys’s Ethereum technology to create an “enterprise blockchain development hub.” The two sides aim to combine their respective blockchain technology and services to build and cultivate an enterprise blockchain ecosystem in which Korean companies can quickly and easily develop “killer” blockchain services.
It’s with this in mind that the two companies are working together on two early initiatives. First, ConsenSys will port its major services and platforms onto CloudZ, SK Holdings C&C’s enterprise cloud service. This will enable any company to develop blockchain services quickly. Second, the two sides will work together to create training classes in cooperation with ConsenSys Academy, the U.S. company’s blockchain training program. The two companies will tailor the classes’ curriculum to the needs of Korean blockchain developers.
Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum, said in his company’s press release, “We are excited to help initiate SK Holdings C&C’s enterprise blockchain journey on Ethereum.”
He added, “As a company we recently launched PegaSys’ Pantheon Core — written in Java with an enterprise-friendly Apache 2.0 license — as part of our larger goal to build enterprise-grade solutions. Very soon, SK Holdings C&C will be able to develop end-to-end Ethereum blockchain solutions across their numerous industry verticals.”
Lee Ki-yeol, Executive Vice President of SK Holdings C&C, said, “With the MOU, we can improve our blockchain technology and greatly expand the service development ecosystem.”
Not SK’s first blockchain rodeo
The SK Group has taken a key interest in blockchain technology.
Even before its MOU with ConsenSys, SK Holdings C&C boasted blockchain solutions and services such as Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) based on Hyperledger, logistics services, voting systems and a recently developed Coin-as-a-Service (CaaS) platform that can easily issue various regional currency and gift certificates using Ripple’s blockchain technology.
Of course, you may recall ICONLOOP’s own recent MOU with SK Holdings C&C, too.
On Sept. 19, ICONLOOP and SK Holdings agreed to cooperate and co-develop blockchain business models for the financial sector. The MOU aimed to “build a tailored service model for banks, insurance companies, broker dealers, and other financial services firms.”
In particular, the two sides are concentrating on developing solutions for “smaller, more nimble financial services firms.” The MOU targets the so-called “secondary banking sector,” businesses such as insurance companies, securities firms and card companies. Though the secondary banking sector boasts a wide range of products and services, the sector’s businesses tend to be smaller that the big banks, making them ideal for tailored blockchain solutions.
Giving examples of what was possible, ICONLOOP said it could, for instance, commercialize a blockchain model focused on car insurance claims, or offer a tokenized version of mileage rewards points.
You may also recall the ICON Foundation’s recent MOU with SK Planet to link ICON’s blockchain technology with SK Planet’s leading mobile services, including OK Cashbag, Korea’s oldest and largest reward points program, and Syrup, a popular mobile wallet. In that MOU, the two sides also agreed to bolster the local economy by supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises.
And perhaps apropos of nothing, ICON recently hired an SK veteran as a product management officer, too.
So how will SK Holdings C&C’s deal with ConsenSys impact ICON’s existing cooperation with SK?
Not at all, according to ICON.
“[The ConsenSys deal] won’t affect our MOU at all,” said a member of ICON’s Business Development team speaking about ICON’s own relationship with SK Holdings C&C. “We signed the MOU with SK C&C as well as with SK Planet. We aim to create real value with real use cases by creating synergy”.