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South Korean SME Minister Sings Praises of Blockchain-powered Payments

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

A South Korean minister has been championing blockchain-powered payments, claiming they have the power to transform the business landscape for smaller businesses in the country.

Source: Adobe/Chitsanupong

Per News1, the comment came from the country’s Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups Park Young-sun, who claimed that e-pay initiatives like Zero Pay could use powerful blockchain networks to “eliminate transaction fees” for SMEs in the country.

Park equated blockchain with the advent of chat app services like the Kakao-run KakaoTalk, which she said has successfully wiped the cost of text messaging to zero.

Using blockchain advances, she added, “bank and card fees will also be eliminated.”

Zero Pay is a mobile-based payment platform that was masterminded by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute and has been championed by Seoul’s city government authorities in conjunction with a number of banks and financial companies, including Kookmin Bank and Woori Bank.

It has been rolled out in the capital in what constitutes a de facto beta, and makes use of blockchain technology, although only for certain functions.

Park claimed that an important Zero Pay milestone had now been reached with KRW 1tn (USD 89.8m) worth of transactions now passing through the platform.

But new blockchain functionality – currently in the pipelines for Zero Pay – should soon allow totally commission-free, entirely blockchain-powered transactions on the network.

The minister predicted that some 2 million SME affiliates would be making use of solutions like these by 2023.

Park concluded,

“Changes to the easy payment ecosystem are coming faster than we could have possibly imagined.”

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