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Big South Korean Companies Preparing For 'Crypto-powered' Era

Big South Korean Companies Preparing For 'Crypto-powered' Era 101
Source: Adobe/Augustas Cetkauskas

More and more big South Korean companies are registering trademarks for crypto exchanges, wallets and other crypto-related services in an attempt to "prepare for the upcoming era of crypto asset-powered finance," per a new report.

According to Chosun, recent moves from conglomerate GS, credit card services provider Korea Information & Communications Co (KICC) and chat app giant Kakao indicate that all three – and other companies – have set up the trading and legal infrastructure they would need to launch crypto brokerages, exchanges, trading apps and more.

The media outlet stated that at the end of last week, KICC registered a trademark for a new platform named EasyCMS that includes a crypto brokerage and exchange section.

The company has a long-standing interest in crypto. In 2017, it registered a trademark for a brand named EasyCoin – an exchange and trading software brand. However, the KICC appears to have shelved this plan indefinitely.

Kakao, which has multiple crypto ventures already in operation – including its own crypto wallet, mainnet and a token – also registered a trademark in June for exchange software and a crypto brokerage.

The media outlet quoted a Kakao official as stating,

“We cannot ignore the fact that virtual assets could become a payment method in the future.”

And GS Retail, which runs the GS25 convenience store chain, also registered a trademark back in June – for a crypto pay platform that would allow customers to place delivery orders within a 1.5km radius of outlets.

The trademark description also includes mention of the establishment of a “crypto asset brokerage.”

Chosun quotes a range of crypto and business experts who claim that the firms are well aware that government regulations currently prevent them from launching these projects on the domestic market.

But, reportedly said one unnamed crypto exchange official, the firms are aware that crypto markets are opening up overseas – and hope to preempt a thawing of South Korea’s once-firm stance on all things crypto-related.

The official added,

"The number of overseas companies that directly or indirectly support crypto assets is increasing. Domestically, even if demand is still low, we are preparing the supply side of things.”

A lawyer at legal firm Hanbyul stated that as international crypto adoption was on the rise, “it is not strange at all for South Korean companies to be preparing the ground by registering their trademark rights in advance.”
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