South Korean Financial Giant SK Group To Issue Its Own Cryptocurrency
SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, said it will issue its own cryptocurrency through the firm’s investment arm, SK Square.
SK Square is also preparing a blockchain service for its partners, to facilitate the crypto issuance. Both projects are still in their infancy, and the company is targeting a token rollout within the year, through an initial coin offering (ICO).
While ICOs are banned in the country, newly-elected President Yoon Suk-Yeol has vowed to pass crypto-friendly rules, including the possible legalization of ICOs. SK said it would either consider a foreign issuance, or wait for a friendlier regulatory landscape.
SK Square plans a crypto ecosystem
SK Square’s announcement makes SK Group the first among South Korea’s financial conglomerates, or “chaebols”, to consider issuing crypto. The company plans to leverage all the companies under SK Group to facilitate adoption of the token, Korean news outlet Hankyung reported.
The group, which owns South Korea’s largest wireless carrier, SK Telecom, intends to first build a token on the telecom firm’s exiting blockchain infrastructure. It will then broaden the service to create its own ecosystem.
All of SK Groups existing companies will be expected to adopt the currency. The token will also be incorporated into SK Telecom’s metaverse platform ifland.
SK is already an active investor in the crypto space. In November, the firm invested 90 billion Korean won ($73 million) in Korbit, one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges. The deal made SK the exchange’s second-largest shareholder.
On Wednesday, SK Planet, a unit of SK Square, signed a business agreement with Korbit to develop new blockchain projects.
Crypto extremely popular in South Korea
Cryptocurrency use has surged in South Korea over the recent years, even becoming a major talking point in the country’s recent Presidential election. Both Presidential candidates had launched NFTs connected to their campaign, in a bid to reach the younger, crypto-enthusiastic crowd.
Data from Statista showed that as much as 10% of South Koreans, or 5 million people, had invested in crypto through 2021.
Recently, Krafton, one of the country’s largest videogame developers, said it was venturing into blockchain games through a partnership with Solana.
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