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  • Andre Yunque

Korean Messaging Giant KaKao to Launch Blockchain Unit

Korea’s preeminent messaging app operator is diving into the blockchain, writes TechCrunch:

Kakao, the Korean internet firm that operates the country’s largest messaging app, is moving deeper into crypto after it revealed plans to launch a blockchain -focused business unit.

A Kakao representative confirmed the plans and that the company has hired Han Jaesun, CTO of gaming startup FuturePlay, to head up the business.

What the division will do exactly is still unknown, though local media are speculating that it may include a platform to help companies raise funds through ICOs.

ICOs? In South Korea, you say? Yep, as TechCrunch points out, Kakao will have its work cut out for them if helping launch ICOs really is what they had in mind. South Korea banned token sales late last year, and followed that up by outlawing all cryptocurrency trading. True, a regulator recently said that he hopes the country will “normalize” it’s virtual coin industry rather than tighten the noose on it, but so far all we’ve seen are more moves along the latter.

In any case, Kakao isn’t the only messaging app company that has set its sights on blockchain:

Japan’s Line recently announced plans to introduce a crypto exchange to its chat app and explore blockchain services, while Telegram is raising a record ICO that is tipped to hit as much as $2 billion. Chat app Kik raised around $100 million in an ICO that’ll see its service migrated to the blockchain, while new project Status held an ICO of more than $100 million to build a fully-decentralized service on the Ethereum blockchain.

Photo: Public Domain

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