Samsung isn’t the only Korean tech behemoth going big into blockchain this year.
Ground X, the blockchain unit of Korean Internet giant Kakao, just raised a cool US$90 million through a private coin offering. They started another private coin offering on March 12 with the goal of raising another US$90 million. On Mar. 19, they unveiled their open test net to some of their partner companies.
All this activity comes ahead of the June launch of the main net of Klaytn, Ground X’s public blockchain platform. Ground X has partnered with 26 companies that plan to run DApps on Klaytn, including South Korean video game developer Wemade, video streaming platform Watcha and a unit of Chinese travel agency Zanadu. That would seem to suggest a company intent on pushing real-world adoption.
And if that wasn’t enough, now there are rumors that Kakao want to integrate a cyptocurrency wallet into KakaoTalk, Korea’s ubiquitous messaging app. If this rumor proves true, it would enable 44 million KakaoTalk users to receive and send cryptocurrency, something that would really spur real-world adoption of blockchain technology.
Globally, it might not have the same impact of Samsung’s integration of a crypto wallet in its smart phones. But in Korea, where 80% of the population uses KakaoTalk to communicate, it would be huge.
Anyway, now that Samsung’s got the ball rolling, expect Kakao to be just the first of many Korean tech titans to unveil ambitious blockchain projects. 2019 could be a very exciting time in the blockchain space.
(BTW, anyone who’s been expecting an ICO from Kakao — or rival Internet giant Naver, for that matter — might be disappointed.)
And in other Korean blockchain news…
- HSBC seeks Korean banks for blockchain ties
(By Park Hyong-ki, Korea Times)
- Samsung, Hyundai Make Further Blockchain, Crypto Moves
(By Tim Alper, Cryptonews)
- South Korean government seeks 30 people for Blockchain National Participation Evaluation Team
- Korean Actor Invests in Blockchain Seafood Trade Startup
(By Yogita Khatri, CoinDesk)
- Busan Port Authority to Develop Security System Utilizing Blockchain
(By Kevin Lee, The Korea Bizwire)
- Asia-Pacific has a Great Potential To Lead in Blockchain Adoption
(By Amyn Gillani, Entrepreneur.com)
- Data: China has the most blockchain patents, despite banning cryptocurrency
(By Yessi Bello Perez, TNW)