IT Chosun, the IT news website of the influential Korean daily Chosun Ilbo, looks at the flurry of MOU activity in the blockchain space. Through these MOUs, previously unrelated industries are hoping to unite their respective strengths to create new demand.
For instance, the blockchain and AI-based travel service Tourcom and language learning social network Ziktalk have signed an MOU to share their human resource pools and provide intersecting services. Under the agreement, professional language tutors could serve as tour guides, while tour guides could serve as language tutors.
Terra, the next-generation payment project, has signed a deal with Kakao Mobility to bring together transportation services and blockchain technology.
Major corporations are signing deals with blockchain companies, too. Carry Protocol, a cryptocurrency for offline commerce, recently tied a deal with SPC Cloud, a subsidiary of the SPC Group. The subsidiary operates the group’s Happy Point loyalty program. Under the program, you can earn double the Happy Points when you buy something at an SPC-brand store, with users receiving extra Carry Protocol tokens corresponding with the value of your Happy Points.
MediBloc, meanwhile, is running simplified insurance claim projects with several university hospitals and insurance companies. Medibloc made Forbes’s 2018 list of Korea’s most anticipated startups and its 2019 list of most anticipated global blockchain companies. It recently signed an MOU with Severance Hospital, one of Korea’s biggest hospitals, to build a blockchain-based medical information system.
ICON, too, has enthusiastically built relationships with entities in the public and private sectors. As The Iconist reported in May, the ICON Foundation had signed 13 MoU, including ones with the Kyber Network, Naver LINE, Deloitte and SK Planet, while ICONLOOP had inked another 11 with the likes of Kyobo Life Insurance, Nonghyup Bank and the International Telecommunication Union. These relationships can expand business opportunities and create real-world use blockchain use cases. The MOU with the ITU, for instance, has allowed ICONLOOP to take part in the UN organization’s Smart Incubator Program and offered the company “first mover” opportunities in Africa, where opportunities for tech companies abound.
And elsewhere in the Korea blockchain space…
LG Electronics and LG International to Join Kakao’s Blockchain Platform Klaytn
(By Michael Herh, Business Korea)
LG Electronics and LG International have joined Klaytn’s group of partners. And so another Korean electronics giant jumps into the blockchain space.
‘Blockchain-based payment benefits e-commerce and consumers’
(By Baek Byung-yeul, Korea Times)
The Korea Times takes a look at blockchain-based e-commerce solution Terra, one of e-commerce entrepreneur Daniel Shin’s projects. Lots of interesting things going on there, including a project to establish a mobile payment system for the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.
Korean Crypto Exchanges Face Backlash, Could it Stunt Bitcoin’s Run?
(By Joseph Young, CCN)
With Korea likely to follow the G7’s recently proposed guidelines that cryptocurrency exchanges share customer data, hundreds of Korea’s minor exchanges could run into problems as they’d be forced to provide services only to users with “real-name” accounts. The CCN report notes, however, that since Korea’s “big five” exchanges — which already operate under strict KYC guidelines — account for the bulk of Korea’s crypto trading, a crackdown might not have a major impact on the local exchange market.
Bitcoin and Ether Trade at Large Premium on South Korean Crypto Exchanges
(By Rick D, NewsBTC)
The world’s two biggest cryptocurrencies are trading at large premiums in Korea, something that ordinarily would draw in arbitrage traders. That hasn’t happened, however, and one theory as to why is that recent regulations have greatly reduced the pool of potential traders. To quote NewsBTC, “To arbitrage trade across crypto exchanges one would need an account at the exchange with the low price and the South Korean venue where such a Bitcoin premium can be observed. The recently-introduced regulations stipulate that exchange accounts must be created in person through a bank account belonging to the user.”