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South Korea’s SK Telecom Embraces New Blockchain Tech for E-commerce and Banking

Sunkyong Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless telecommunications company, is planning to start a new blockchain platform that will allow for customers to manage their assets and shop online securely. Sunkyong Telecom (SMT) is one of South Korea’s largest chaebols.

SKT is preparing to launch an extensive blockchain platform that will enable their customers to manage all of their non-financial and financial assets using blockchain tech.

Oh Se-hyeon, who serves as the head administrator for SKT's blockchain business development unit, says that online shopping is very common but many shoppers are weery of buying high priced items due to security or fear of the genuineness of costly items. “With blockchain technology, however, these transactions will become easier and faster,” Se-hyeon said.

Since blockchain is stored as a public (or private) digital ledger on a network of computers, it makes it impossible for anyone to change the data. This enhancement will provide added assurance to people who normally wouldn’t trust online sales and banking.

Se-hyeon said that customers would first need to make a “self-sovereign identity” for SKT’s transparent transaction system to work. According to SKT, a self-sovereign identity is a blockchain powered technology that verifies all digital users are who they claim to be.

SKT says it will also be launching its consulting platform for small to mid-sized companies and startups preparing for new blockchain ventures including ICOs. The platform SKT is calling “Token Exchange Hub” will provide guidance and support to smaller firms entering the blockchain space. It’s important to note however that ICOs are still currently banned in S. Korea. Nevertheless, SKT still wants to show start-ups what they can legally do with cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech in general.
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The Korea Times just recently reported, based on a recent survey, that more than 25% of all S. Koreans use mobile payment services; young people in their 20s were the biggest users of mobile payments with 53.6% of the age group carrying out mobile banking within the six-month period. With the growing number of people in S. Korea embracing cryptocurrency and mobile banking, SKT’s blockchain plans would certainly increase the number of users embracing mobile banking and e-commerce.

Established in 1984, SKT is S. Korea's largest telecommunications company with more than 29 million mobile subscriber, which accounts for ~50% of the total S. Korean market.

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Jack Taylor is a freelance journalist who has contributed to many award winning media outlets on a wide range of topics regarding trending technologies, cryptocurrency, blockchain & digital privacy.
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