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Asian Tech Giants’ New Blockchain Drive Involves Traditional Finance

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Two of South Korea’s biggest internet tech companies are strengthening their ties with the traditional financial sector to prepare the ground for a fresh fintech, blockchain and token-powered business drive.

Source: iStock/JamesBrey

Per Fn News, search engine Naver and its Line chat app affiliate and rival chat app giant Kakao have been building up their business ties with banks, financial service providers and credit card operators in South Korea and Japan – effectively “paving the way” for a new line of blockchain business, including payments and chat app-powered remittance solutions.

The media outlet reports that Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary Ground X is looking to make use of its existing ties with domestic banking giants Woori Financial Group and Shinhan Bank, both of which have partnered with Ground X’s Klaytn blockchain platform. Woori Financial is developing blockchain-based financial services. Woori is also looking to launch a blockchain-powered payment service through its Woori Card subsidiary, possibly making use of the Klaytn network.

Line, which could end up merging with the equally blockchain- and crypto-keen Yahoo Japan and its parent company SoftBank, is also building up its traditional finance sector ties.

Line has also been building up its conventional finance industry ties. Its fintech subsidiary LVC has recently announced a blockchain partnership with Nomura, Japan’s oldest brokerage. Nomura has stumped up considerable investment funds for LVC in the past few months. Fn News claims that the companies are keen to combine Line’s mobile app technology and user base with Nomura’s traditional financial knowhow.

And Fn News states that the government is likely to ease the regulatory path for both Naver and Kakao due to the sheer size of the two companies – after the South Korean parliament last week voted in favor of a new set of cryptocurrency regulations.

“It is becoming more and more possible to run a legitimate cryptocurrency business entirely on-chain, without the need for existing financial infrastructure or even the support of traditional business. However, if we are to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream public, there needs to be an alignment of the old and new financial worlds,” Alexis Roussel, CEO and Co-Founder of Bity, a Swiss crypto-finance services provider, argued in an opinion piece. “Without this synchronization, current financial providers are just delaying inevitable transformation, and may be left behind as the new digital economy is built around them.”