GCR Trend Update 2020: Crypto Trends in South Korea

GCR Trend Update 2020: Crypto Trends in South Korea

Given the ongoing Coronavirus taking place around the world, having a large impact on the crypto activities such as conferences and communities, we continue to believe Southeast Asia (SEA) may be potentially spared as one of the breakout regions in the eastern hemisphere in 2020. As we emphasized earlier this year, we advise our readers to pay attention more to SEA this year.

Nevertheless, blockchain developments in China, Korea and Japan continue to develop. We share below a quick but comprehensive update on the crypto and blockchain trends in South Korea from 2019 up until now. Checkout all the existing updates of the other Asian countries here.

Crypto Trends in South Korea

Brief background on the crypto and blockchain happenings in the country:

South Korea has been advancing blockchains from the enterprise level as well as the government level. Recently, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In stressed the importance of the development of new regulatory approaches towards new technologies such as blockchain. Nevertheless, overall we see the ongoing enthusiasm from South Korea retail population have come from its retail trading primarily. 

  1. Finance
    1. Stablecoins- Samsung Galaxy S10 now supports 3 stablecoins: TrueUSD, Maker, USD Coin.
    2. Trade on blockchain- The South Korean government is planning to establish a digital trade foundation to reduce the costs of trade by using blockchain technology. 
    3. Banking tech on blockchain– Major South Korean bank KB Kookmin Bank adopts blockchain technology into its internal processes. 
    4. Real estate STO- SK Securities, a branch of South Korea’s largest telecom SK Group, has partnered with a local blockchain firm for a digital real estate beneficiary platform.
    5. Banking security on blockchain- South Korea’s oldest bank, Shinhan Bank, partnered with two other companies to develop a blockchain-based security solution. 
    6. Digital Currency- In a bid to transform into a blockchain smart city, Seoul, South Korea is planning to launch its own digital currency by November 2019. 
  2. E-commerce
    1. Credit card on blockchain– South Korea’s leading credit card firm Shinhan Card has been granted a patent for a blockchain payments system.
    2. Payments on blockchain- Blockchain payment system and stablecoin issuer Terra recently has added South Korean music streaming platform Bugs to its e-commerce alliance. 
  3. Transportation on blockchain– Hdac Technology, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group, plans to set up a $10 million blockchain investment fund in 2019. 
  4. Logistics
    1. Tracking on blockchain– Samsung SDS, Dutch bank ABN AMRO and the Port of Rotterdam have jointly conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) shipment from South Korea to the Netherlands in which they tracked a container exclusively using an interoperable blockchain platform
    2. Billing on blockchain– South Korea’s national postal service Korea Post is planning to apply blockchain technology to its billing system.
    3. Data storage on blockchain– Canadian tech firm Graph Blockchain Inc. has partnered with the Ministry of Transportation in Seoul, South Korea, to run a pilot program for blockchain-based traffic data storage.
  5. Crypto Trading and Exchanges
    1. Korean exchanges expanding outside of Korea– South Korean exchange Bithumb’s international platform Bithumb Global is looking to establish a regulated cryptocurrency exchange in India. 
    2. Energy trading- South Korea’s largest power provider has signed a contract with two domestic power suppliers to establish a blockchain-powered system for transacting Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). 
  6. Telecom- Union Mobile, the fourth-largest mobile carrier in South Korea, announced the launch of its blockchain project called ELYNET.
  7. Identification on blockchain- A consortium of major South Korean firms partnered to launch a blockchain-based mobile identification system in 2020, English-language local media Korea Times reports on July 14. 

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