Blockchain technology is growing in many countries around the globe, as can be seen in South Korea where a tremendous amount of growth has occurred within this year alone. South Korea just launched a blockchain consortium consisting of 21 financial investment companies and five blockchain tech firms. On December 7, 2016, these companies joined together with the Korea Financial Investment Association and signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the goal of the consortium functioning as a Korean blockchain think tank.
Park Sun-moo, managing director of NH Investment & Securities, stated:
“This consortium is the first case in South Korea where multiple financial firms make use of blockchain. It will contribute to the realization of the essential value of blockchain and maximization of the convenience, security and efficiency of financial transactions.”
This isn’t the first time South Korea has seen blockchain innovation. Korbit, South Korea’s largest bitcoin exchange, added Ethereum trading to their platform in March of this year. Then later in April, the exchange added an Ethereum wallet into their technology. It wasn’t until November that the Gemini exchange, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, opened up Gemini trading in South Korea.
The new South Korean stock market for startups, KRX Startup Market Exchange, is a marketplace where equity shares of startups can be traded and hopes to help the new companies prosper. One startup they recently added is Blocko Inc. This Korean blockchain-based startup employs a platform called Coinstack, which is a service that gives application developers, who are unfamiliar with the blockchain, development tools and building kits. Coinstack supports all types of applications and protocols through the blockchain, including Ethereum and the smart contract technology. Blocko Inc. also recently partnered with the Korean credit card, Lotte Card, to create a biometric-based authentication service for Lotte Card’s payment application.
With the increase of startups and the advancement of blockchain tech in South Korea, KFIA, and the 26 companies were motivated to form the consortium in order to further explore and develop blockchain-based tech and applications in the country. The consortium plans to be involved in future projects such as personal authentication, clearing and settlement automation, and others.