South Korea’s ICON Foundation and telecom giant SK have announced a strategic partnership focused on blockchain technology that will offer services to banks, insurers and brokers.
SK Planet, an SK division, signed a memo-of-understanding with (MoU) with ICON. SK operates South Korea’s most popular mileage system dubbed OK Cashbag, which boasts nearly 35 million users.
According to CCN, ICON is South Korea’s top blockchain project. As part of the agreement, SK Planet and ICON will integrate blockchain technology into SK’s mileage system. In addition to OK Cashbag, the partnership also extends to integrating blockchain technology into mobile services, CCN reports.
In July, South Korean media company Hani reported that OK Cashbag had begun the process of developing a blockchain-based system to handle mileage payments and various business models. According to Hani:
“OK Cashbag has approved the initiation of OKX Project, a blockchain technology-based project, and is currently in a phase of reviewing various business models and incentivization methods. But, SKPlanet will not engage in any initial coin offering (ICO) or fund raising pertaining to OKX Project.”
SK Planet, however, didn’t tilt its hand to any additional details of its blockchain project or any partnerships. The agreement signed between ICON and SK Planet reflects SK’s long-term strategy to actively pursue its blockchain integration plans, CCN points out.
Meanwhile, reports suggest a partnership between ICON and popular Asia-based messaging app Line supported SK working with ICON to launch its first blockchain product. According to ICON Foundation board member JH Kim:
“Through cooperation with SK Planet, which has the services of OK Cashbag and Syrup wallet already being widely used by the public, ICON will keep working hard to popularize the blockchain.”
SK Planet’s JM Park said the group will cooperate with small- and medium-sized businesses to market the blockchain across Asia, saying:
“Blockchain seems to be one of the key technologies that will promote market transformation in existing industry in the medium and long term. SK Planet will work with ICON to contribute in various industries so we can deliver differentiated benefits to our customers.”
Industry Leaders Focused on Blockchain and Crypto
In South Korea, LG, Samsung, SK and many other industry leaders have expressed great interest in blockchain technology, especially considering the South Korean government’s recognition of technological innovation as one of the pillars of the fourth industrial revolution, together with AI and big data.
Samsung has been developing ASIC chips for cryptocurrency mining while SK backed crypto exchange Korbit. Messaging app Kakao launched leading South Korean crypto exchange Upbit.