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One of S Korea’s Biggest Card Issuers Launches Blockchain-powered platform to Help Customers Spot Fake Goods

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Shinhan Card, South Korea’s biggest credit card company and a global top-five credit card issuer, has launched a blockchain-powered digital warranty service used to certify the authenticity of products. 

South Korean news outlet Money Today has reported that the warranty service is first coming to BGZT – a Seoul-based startup operating a used goods sales platform with which Shinhan Card signed a partnership to expand their strategic alliance on platform businesses about a year ago. 

When customers purchase goods from BGZT’s three stores in Seoul, they can scan a QR code on the purchased product and receive a digital warranty. 

They can then check detailed information on the product on Shinhan’s pLay mobile application, whether or not the product was purchased with Shinhan Card’s credit or debit cards. 

The service is expected to checkmate the sale of fake goods. The companies say they plan to sell 10,000 products that can be certified with the digital warranty service by the end of 2022. 

Shinhan Card says it will expand the service by continuing to sign partnerships with more retailers and manufacturers in the country. A company spokesperson also stated that Shinhan Card will keep developing more blockchain-backed services for use in day-to-day life. 

“We will increase the credibility of used products by introducing more secure blockchain technologies and offering better customer experiences. We will keep developing diverse blockchain-backed payment services used in day-to-day life by partnering with more manufacturers and retailers,” the company official said. 

Blockchain adoption in South Korea gaining ground but still faces regulatory pushback  

The digital warranty service is not the first blockchain-powered product companies in the Shinhan Bank conglomerate have launched. Back in 2020, Shinhan Card became the first credit card issuer in the world to obtain a patent for a blockchain-based payment system after initially announcing its plans in 2019. 

Similarly, Shinhan Bank launched a blockchain-based KYC solution in partnership with ICONLOOP in 2020 – becoming the first to commercialize decentralized identity (DID) service for the financial sector in Korea. 

While Shinhan Bank and other South Korean giants like Samsung have continued to push blockchain adoption, blockchain technology and the cryptocurrencies it facilitates have faced significant regulatory pushback in the country. 

Cryptocurrencies have attained significant notoriety in South Korea. According to a Bloomberg report in August, cryptocurrencies were the largest contributors to illegal foreign exchange transactions in the country this year. 

This has made regulators crack down hard on the market, while lawmakers are also working on broad legislation to guide the industry.