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Blockchain-powered Karaoke Booms in South Korea as Coronavirus Drags on

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Coronavirus pandemic-mitigating lockdowns and government-imposed limits on social contact are helping to spur the spectacular growth of blockchain-powered entertainment apps in South Korea – with token-driven karaoke, movie platforms and more.

Source: Adobe/Mix and Match Studio

According to Fn News, the blockchain-based app Somesing has surpassed 400,000 users – more than doubling its user base in the past six months. Private singing rooms, named noraebang in Korean, are exceptionally popular in the country – where groups of friends and workmates congregate after work to let off steam.

But gatherings of more than five people have been outlawed in the country and venues such as noraebang have been ordered to close in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Per Mael Kyungjae, singing rooms have been one of the biggest business casualties of the crisis – with at least 2,137 noraebang businesses folding nationwide as a result.

However, South Koreans have apparently lost none of their fervor for karaoke, and Somesing has capitalized, featuring on major TV networks’ news broadcasts.

The platform allows amateur vocalists to sing along to their favorite tunes and upload their efforts via a smartphone app. More active users and singers who perform well can hope to receive blockchain-powered token rewards from fellow users, who can choose to send coins as gifts to their friends and fellow users.

The same media outlet also reports that Milk, a travel-based blockchain platform that had just over 110,000 users in October last year has more than doubled its usership in the last three months. The platform makes use of a token that can be used to buy books, and can also be exchanged for vouchers at the department store giant and e-commerce outlet Shinsaegae.

The Milk token can also be swapped for coins operated by Yanolja, a blockchain and crypto-keen travel unicorn that has also thrived despite the health crisis.

While large-scale commercial travel and overseas vacations are still very much off the cards for South Koreans, many are seeking to make lower-key family getaways to domestic locations, renting out private pensions – and are making use of Yanolja coin, as well as Milk and its token, to secure their bookings.

And while cinemas remain closed, movie-goers are turning to a service named MovieBloc, which allows filmmakers to showcase their work, and also enables users to earn tokens by writing reviews, rating films or providing captions. The project’s MovieBloc Token is listed on major domestic crypto exchanges such as Bithumb.
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