South Korea Internet Giant Moves Deeper Into Crypto

What a week for the peninsular nation, 대한민국 Republic of Korea. Moon Jae-in’s administration appears to have brokered a potential meeting between heads of state to avoid nuclear holocaust, and in more practical terms local media is widely reporting regional internet giant Kakao will deepen its involvement with cryptocurrency in South Korea by incorporating crypto into its various, hugely popular, platforms.

Kakao to Make Crypto Ubiquitous in South Korea

주식회사 카카오 Kakao, sometimes romanized in press accounts as Cacao, has tentacled itself into every conceivable community platform: Kakaotalk chat application (app), Kakaomusic app, Kakaostyle mobile fashion service, Kakaopay e-wallet, Kakaobank, Kakao T taxi app, and those are just for starters.

The company’s penetration in South Korea is deep and growing, especially regarding cryptocurrency. Toward Fall of last year, these pages informed readers Kakaotalk had, through its inner-app Kakaostock, planned a cryptocurrency exchange to trade bitcoin and ether. The effort was to exploit the app’s 200 million worldwide users as well as its having gobbled up 95% of the domestic smartphone market.

Little more than a month later, the company announced launch of Upbit, with over 110 cryptocurrencies, making it the largest of its kind in South Korea. By December, “Kakao’s cryptocurrency exchange Upbit [claimed] to be the largest crypto exchange by volume in South Korea, one of the top three markets globally. Listing over 120 coins and leveraging Kakao Talk’s massive user base, Upbit currently facilitates an average daily trading volume of 5 trillion won,” News.Bitcoin.com reported.

아시아경제 Asian Economy, a Korean online news organization, reports the company isn’t letting up on its crypto business model. In fact, Kakao “will introduce a virtual currency payment system. It will be applied not only to its own platforms such as KakaoTalk, but also to more than 10,000 Kakaopay merchants.” […]

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