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South Korean Telco Giant to Launch Blockchain for Authentication

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In a report appearing in ZDNet on Tuesday, South Korea’s telecoms giant, a major subsidiary of SK Group, a large family-owned South Korean conglomerate, announced that will launch a blockchain-based digital real-name authentication program to streamline user subscriptions and verification processes for its services.

It is also preparing an asset management service for customers that will allow peer-to-peer trading of high value items. SK Telecom will also launch a token exchange hub project that will help startups and SMEs commence ICOs quickly, transparently and safely.

The firm’s executive Vice President who is the blockchain unit head, Oh Se-Hyeon, said the company is planning to launch a blockchain-based asset management and payment service, which will ensure trust for peer-to-peer transactions.  

Se-Hyeon told Korea Herald:

The service will allow users to manage all bank accounts, credit cards, mileage points and other non-financial assets, including cryptocurrencies, in one basket, and enable transactions of the assets based on trust,

The company aims to to apply blockchain tech to raise transparency of transactions by verifying the history of past transactions of an individual’s assets which includes real estate, diamonds and raw materials.  

Withregards to Token Exchange Hub, Se-Hyeon explained that while SK Telecom does not plan to issue its own tokens, the hub will serve as an administrative and technological center for enterprises to raise funds through initial coin offerings.

SKT will provide systematic administrative supports for startups to issue bitcoins in a more transparent and safe manner through the platform,

– Se-Hyeon said.

According to Se-Hyeon, the company looks forward in supporting companies that want to do business using blockchain technology and help in creation of a blockchain ecosystem.

Joining the Party?

South Korea’s largest wireless carrier formed a blockchain unit last year to find new businesses opportunities and the move comes just days after another South Korean telecom company, Korea Telecom (KT), announced plans to use blockchain powered security solution to protect its infrastructure.

The project by KT which is referred to as ‘Future Internet’ will allow individuals and enterprises to earn rewards for transmitting data in a peer-to-peer fashion, rather than through a centralized portal operation like Google.

The move by the two giant telcos follows other tech-based companies like Google, Samsung and Microsoft, which have all announced plans to use blockchain technology to enhance their services.

It is expected that more giant tech companies will join the party too, as many have started to explore how they can use blockchain to improve service delivery and to generate more revenue in turn.

The move by the two companies comes amid more intense regulations by the South Korean government on cryptocurrencies. The government is in the process of enacting new laws that will govern the largely uncontrolled crypto market, although it has vowed that the new laws will help to foster blockchain development.

Is blockchain technology the new frontier for tech-based companies? Let us know in the comments section.      

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