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Large South Korean Retailers Shut Down NFT Operations

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Large South Korean Retailers Shut Down NFT Operations

Several South Korean retailers including Lotte and Hyundai are shutting down their non-fungible token (NFT) operations “one after the other” in a major blow to the sector.

Per Herald Kyungjae, Lotte Home Shopping, the e-commerce arm of the retail giant Lotte, is closing down its NFT trading platform.

Large South Korean Retailers Close Door on NFTs

Lotte launched the NFT Shop platform just over two years ago, in May 2022. The firm announced on June 12, that it will end its NFT shop “services” on July 2.

Customers could access the trading platform via the Lotte Home Shopping mobile app. The firm envisaged the platform as “part of its mid- to long-term strategy to build a metaverse platform,” the media outlet noted.

Unlike most NFT trading platforms, NFT Shop used fiat KRW as its “transaction currency,” in a bid to promote accessibility and convenience among non-crypto holders.

The company attempted to boost the popularity of the shop by releasing a line of NFTs of its own, featuring its corporate character Bellygom.

Lotte Home Shopping teamed up with the Lotte Group-owned crypto startup Daehong Communications for the venture.

The firms released the NFTs on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain network. Lotte Home Shopping later went on to expand its NFT partnership with Daehong.

Lotte Home Shopping also developed NFT tie-ins with its “virtual influencer” Lucy, as well the hit 2022 horror movie “The Witch: Part 2. The Other One.”

The firm had also launched plans to enable secondary NFT sales on the Opensea, the world’s largest NFT trading platform.

Lotte’s “virtual influencer” Lucy.
Lotte’s “virtual influencer” Lucy. (Source:

Companies Will ‘Focus on Core Business Areas Instead of NFTs’

The media outlet noted that the NFT Shop closure will mark Lotte Home Shopping’s “total withdrawal from the NFT sector.”

The firm will hand over all its remaining NFT business interests, including Bellygom NFT, to Daehong.

The move comes hot on the heels of Hyundai Department Store’s decision to leave the market.

Hyundai also launched its NFT wallet services (H.NFT) in 2022, offering customers discounts and free gifts.

Another retail giant, Shinsegae, has significantly scaled back the scope of its NFT offerings. An unnamed industry insider told the media outlet:

“Retailers all initially jumped headlong into the NFT business. However, as the NFT market has slowed down, they are now closing down their platforms one after the other. Instead, they are focusing on strengthening the competitiveness of their core business areas.”