Image: Lambda256 CEO Jae-hyun Park
Image: Lambda256 CEO Jae-hyun Park, March 19, 2019

Dunamu, Inc., a South Korean fintech startup and the operator of crypto-asset exchange Upbit, has announced the launch of Luniverse, a consortium-based blockchain service platform.

Lambda256, Dunamu’s research arm, was responsible for the development of Luniverse and will be spun off as a subsidiary, Dunamu said on Tuesday. Jae-hyun Park, formerly Lambda256’s head of research, will be the inaugural CEO of the new company.

At a press conference held in Seoul, Park detailed the company’s mission to accelerate the commercialization of blockchain services and stressed Lambda256’s ambition to become a leading blockchain platform.

“We hope to inject new energy into the blockchain developer community through the official launch of Luniverse and power more innovations,” Park said. “Our goal is to become the industry’s top blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform by 2020.”

Park told the Investor in an interview in November 2018 that blockchain was at a critical juncture adding that the next year or two will be key for the technology. “[Blockchain] has potential to become the next big thing like the Internet, or could fail to become mainstream,” Park said.

In this critical time, Lambda256 has vowed to make blockchain mainstream through the Luniverse platform, which allows firms to develop their own blockchain-based decentralized applications (dapps).

“Lambda256’s vision is to become a blockchain enabler,” Park said.

“We want to help businesses that need the technology by providing high-quality infrastructure at a reasonable price … so that businesses can focus on providing services for their customers, instead of having to struggle with technical details.”

The Luniverse BaaS platform aims to address the limitations of existing infrastructures and promises partners looking to adopt blockchain technology into their businesses a “versatile and effective solution.”

Luniverse partners get access to side chain solutions that offer improved performance and greater stability, with notable features that include development tools, proxy mechanisms to ensure uninterrupted service, easy account control, user data backup and management support, security assessment for smart contracts, data privacy features, and auto-scaling systems to meet traffic demands.

Park said Luniverse’s key differentiator was its controllability. “When firms use existing blockchain platforms, they are bound by the platform’s features and timeline. Which means, they can’t change the key features of the platform or improve their services on their own timetable,” Park said. “But Luniverse helps firm create their own mainnet. It gives freedom and sole control of the platform to the firm to decide features and their blueprint.”

The solution is also affordable as it is provided in a pay-as-you-go structure with zero gas fees, he added.

The Luniverse ecosystem will include several marketplaces to facilitate and encourage the development and use of dapps.

A B2B marketplace for developer solutions and a B2C marketplaces for dapps are scheduled to launch in the second half of 2019. These will serve as direct channels for partners to monetize blockchain solutions and services, the company said.

Lambda256 will issued a token called LUK, which will be used in the Luniverse ecosystem for various transactions notably in the marketplaces as well as in Luniverse-linked programs and services.

The company will also be allocating some of its LUK funds into several initiatives aimed at supporting the growth of the ecosystem. These include the Luniverse Incubation Program, which will back blockchain development projects from startups, and the Luniverse Invest Program, which will support promising dapp developers.

Luniverse’s beta service opened in September 2018 with 35 partners and had recruited more than 70 total partners into the beta program by November.

Key partners including E4Net, KStarLive, Humanscape, Aha, Ziktalk, Storichain and Mossland are set to launch Luniverse-developed blockchain platforms and services within the next month.

Lambda256, under the Dunamu umbrella, plans to strengthen synergies with its affiliates including cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, and investment arm Dunamu & Partners, which has committed to invest up to US$93 million in blockchain startups over a three-year period.

Dunamu expanded its Upbit platform to Southeast Asia last year, establishing a new office in Singapore in February. Lambda256 will be seeking to tap into the region as well with expansion plans likely to be undertaken in the second half of 2019.