New Blockchain Consortium Launched In South Korea

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Image credit: Heart of Seoul at Night in South Korea. Photo by Public Domain.

The Korea Financial Investment Association, along with 21 financial investments and five blockchain companies, have signed an memorandum of understanding to collaborate on projects and share their expertise on blockchain technology. The new blockchain consortium will function as a blockchain think tank in the local capital market.

“This consortium is the first case in South Korea where multiple financial firms make use of blockchain,” Park Sun-moo, managing director of NH Investment & Securities, said, as quoted by Business Korea. “It will contribute to the realization of the essential value of blockchain and maximization of the convenience, security and efficiency of financial transactions.”

The IT Committee of the Korea Financial Investment Association will share its blockchain case studies and technical research results with the consortium. The committee will also assist in the operation of the secretariat of the consortium and provide technical training sessions.

The secretariat will be focused on creating business opportunities for the consortium as well as establishing a platform with the member companies. Its future research projects include the establishment of a common platform for personal authentication due in 2017, researching into clearing and settlement automation in 2018 and 2019, and a platform for over-the-counter trading for 2020.

The blockchain consortium initiative was first unveiled in November by the Financial Services Commission. Kim Yong-beom, head of the FSC’s secretariat, said that “with the creation of the consortium, momentum is expected to start for spearheading the development of technology and service in the blockchain field, rather than passively following the footsteps of advanced nations.”

Yesterday, Lotte Card, one of the biggest card companies in South Korea, launched a blockchain-based biometric authentication service for its payment app.

Blockchain startup Blocko provided Lotte Card with its the technology and blockchain-based development platform Coinstack. Alongside Lotte Card, Blocko has also worked with the Korea Exchange, JB Bank, KISA and Paygate on blockchain projects.

“(South) Korea is one of the countries that are the most actively adoption blockchain technology,” said Won-Beom Kim, CEO of Blocko.

“Blockchain technology is expected to be widely adopted by the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, the healthcare industry, the public sector, as well as the financial industry next year.”

Last month, the Korean Exchange launched the Korea Startup Market, a marketplace where the equity shares of startup companies can be traded in the open market. The exchange uses Blocko’s Coinstack platform for document and identity authentication.