Kakao Announces Plan to Launch its Own Blockchain

Kakao Announces Plan to Launch its Own Blockchain

Kakao, the South Korean mobile giant and messaging service, has quashed the insistent rumours that it will ICO this year. In fact, it has even bigger plans: launching its own blockchain and competing with the likes of Ethereum and Cardano as a venue for third party blockchain developers.

Kakao had already announced the creation of a blockchain subsidiary, Ground X, to be led by Han Jae-sun of startup accelerator FuturePlay. This had only fueled speculation that Kakao was readying an ICO, most likely to be held abroad due to South Korea’s restrictions on token offerings in the country.

Asian Expansion

However, Co-CEO Joh Su-yong said yesterday that “we are not thinking of pursuing an ICO at this moment” but instead “we will focus resources on developing a meaningful blockchain platform.” The new platform will be aimed mainly at Asian developers and the launch is planned for later this year.

Ground X will own the project, Joh said, and “will explore the technology with the goal of taking the technological leadership in Asia.

The blockchain will be open to third-party development.  “An open ecosystem is important to us,” he added, stating further that there were also talks with “partners that want to create a blockchain token economy in Asia.

Kakao has been hugely successful in South Korea, and KakaoTalk is the biggest mobile chat app in the country. The announcement is an audacious play to break out of the South Korean market and become a major player in the larger Asian blockchain scene.

Joh also put a stop to rumours that Kakao might be getting into the cryptocurrency exchange business. Referring to the company’s 23% stake in Dunamu, which owns South Korea’s biggest exchange, Upbit, he said that their interest was purely financial.