Blockchain-Friendly Smartphone Introduced By Samsung

… get some of the new digital currency, called “Klay” coins, and some phones will come installed with blockchain apps and a cryptocurrency wallet.

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Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 10 aims to boost blockchain adoption by making it more user-friendly, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday (Sept. 5).

The new product will be marketed as a “KlaytnPhone,” named after a South Korean blockchain platform, sources told the WSJ. Right now, it’s only being sold in South Korea.

The smartphone will have the same hardware and packaging as the recently-released Galaxy Note 10, and prices will start at around $1,000, the sources said.

Buyers will also get some of the new digital currency, called “Klay” coins, and some phones will come installed with blockchain apps and a cryptocurrency wallet.

Samsung is also rolling out the Galaxy Fold in South Korea. The tablet-sized phone folds like a book and will cost about $2,000.

Samsung is partnering with the creator of the Klaytn platform, Ground X Corp.

Blockchain relies on encryption to cloak a range of transaction data, but the technology is largely misunderstood. The technology is considered a potential game-changer during a time of increasing cybersecurity breaches.

In April, Samsung was planning to develop its own proprietary blockchain network, as well as launch its own cryptocurrency token. The South Korean company’s blockchain task force was working on an ethereum-based blockchain network.

“Currently, we are thinking of a private blockchain, though this is not yet confirmed,” a source told CoinDesk Korea. “It could also be a public blockchain in the future, but I think it will be a hybrid — that is, a combination of public and private blockchains.”

Samsung also invested $2.9 million into the French cryptocurrency company Ledger, which is best known for its hardware products. Its most popular product, the Nano S. Ledger, also recently released the Bluetooth-enabled Ledger Nano X, which boasts wireless connectivity, a larger screen, support for more crypto assets and faster speed.

Samsung published a blog post last year stating smartphones had the best security for blockchain and cryptocurrency.

South Korea’s Kakao Considers Listing Klay Cryptocurrency on Chinese Exchange

From the outright ban of initial coin offering (ICOs) following the 2017 crypto craze and 2018 crypto winter to depriving crypto exchanges of the right to …
Kakao Crypto Team

The renowned internet company Kakao, known as one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, is looking to list its cryptocurrency Klay on one of China’s exchanges and add it to its impressive list of products in the financial sector.

The conglomerate, which already has an admirable reputation in the financial world, launched its blockchain platform in June, and its subsidiary Ground X is focusing on a possible wallet termed Klip wallet. While the initial plan was to leave Klay exclusively for developers who are looking to explore the firm’s Klaytn blockchain platform, it seems the high fliers are not turning a blind eye to the potential in the crypto market anymore.

As a matter of fact, Kakao is already considering listing its traditional currency – Klay. However, it is stuck on where exactly to list the digital coin.

AllStocks Cryptocurrency Exchange

While that may sound far-fetched, it is in fact a legit concern as the government of South Korea has not been especially friendly with the crypto sphere. Although cryptocurrency trading isn’t completely banned in the country, there are some stringent rules and gray areas that suggest the South Korean government isn’t having any of the crypto talk – at least not at the moment.

From the outright ban of initial coin offering (ICOs) following the 2017 crypto craze and 2018 crypto winter to depriving crypto exchanges of the right to own a bank account, it is clear that the government isn’t very crypto-friendly.

Having such a huge conglomerate in the crypto sphere will definitely raise all of the alarms that there is in the country. A government official who maintained anonymity rightly advised that the conglomerate is too big for the government to look the other way. Therefore, it may be impossible for the government to allow its crypto trading idea. “The government will not allow it,” the local news outlet News1 reported.

Knowing how must dust this would raise, Kakao is considering listing its token outside the country. Report has it that it is looking at two exchanges at the moment – one in South Korea and the other in China.

News 1 reported that the anonymous government official said that Kakao’s subsidiary “Ground X has attracted investment in cryptocurrency in Singapore, so it will be difficult to list in Korea, but it will be difficult in Korea.” (From Google Translate)

What do you think about Kakao’s move? Let’s hear from you!

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Korea’s Top Regulator Chair Nominee Will Maintain Slow Approach To Crypto Assets

He was one of the main figures behind the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ban and also in favor of imposing certain restrictions on crypto exchanges having …

Eun Sung-soo, the nominee to be the next chairman of the top financial regulator of South Korea, has recently talked about his future policies for crypto if he indeed gets to be in the position.

According to him, if he does get his position at the top of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), he is set to evaluate the crypto world with a slow approach.

He believes that these new assets really need more regulation in order to avoid money laundering and to be more transparent. However, he is also very cautious. He notices some degree of risk involving cryptos and has pointed at the Kimchi Premium to show how speculative cryptos can be.

The nominee also affirmed that this is not the time to fully integrate cryptos with the rest of the economy. According to him, a strong legal foundation needs to be properly established before this can happen. Doing it hastily could have side effects and he does not seem to be eager to try.

This, the local experts affirmed, can point out to a continuation of the policies that were started by Choi Jong-Ku, the current chairman who is leaving his position this week.

Choi is seen as one of the forces that stopped cryptos to be more prominent in South Korea. He was one of the main figures behind the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) ban and also in favor of imposing certain restrictions on crypto exchanges having bank accounts.

Crypto groups believe that this slow approach puts the industry in a bad position because only a few exchanges can work properly. The next chairman, however, doesn’t seem to agree with them.

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Hashed CEO on New Trend In Crypto Startup Investing: Money Wises Up

Instead, they have just been stumping up money to initial coin offering (ICO) issuers and watching tokens get sent to exchanges. “Now they’re wising …
Hashed CEO on New Trend In Crypto Startup Investing: Money Wises Up 101
Source: iStock/baona

Blockchain investment is still in its early days. But with a scene that moves fast, it will come as no surprise to hear that the investment landscape has already changed beyond recognition.

Simon Kim, CEO of South Korea-based blockchain accelerator Hashed, says that the days of passive investors handing over cash in exchange for a fistful of tokens are gone.

“Until recently, most blockchain investors haven’t actually contributed to projects,” Kim tells Cryptonews.com. Instead, they have just been stumping up money to initial coin offering (ICO) issuers and watching tokens get sent to exchanges.

“Now they’re wising up,” says Kim. “Investors are realizing that it’s far better to spend time and money on building real products with real value.”

Watch the latest reports by Block TV.

Doing so, he believes, will help discerning investors sort the wheat from the chaff – in a world where everyone and his dog now appears to be making blockchain investments.

Kim says,

“Building gateways for wireless, browsers and payment platforms – there are now a lot of investment opportunities in this area.”

Fast-developing scene

Hashed is a name that crops up frequently in South Korean blockchain news – largely because it is known to be working behind the scenes, backing and advising two of the continent’s largest and most ambitious blockchain projects to date – Link and Klaytn.

The two projects’ operators, Naver and Kakao, are rapidly becoming South Korea’s new tech center of gravity, surpassing even the hardware makers that put South Korea on the global business map.

Naver’s Line affiliate is the most popular chat app in Japan, and enjoys popularity in much of Southeast Asia. And through Line’s Link platform, the company is building a cross-border ecosystem that already comprises dapps, exchanges and tokens.

Kakao, meanwhile, rules the domestic chat app scene supreme and offers a range of e-pay and financial services. Its Klaytn platform has already won some powerful backers, including major international and domestic commercial banks, as well as mobile carriers and hardware makers like LG. Earlier this month, Samsung revealed that its smartphone blockchain wallet would be Klaytn-compatible.

Kakao has recently released details of Klip – a crypto wallet for KakaoTalk that finally joins the dots between its blockchain projects and its lucrative chat app operations. KakaoTalk has some 50 million users – most of them based in South Korea.

As such, Hashed finds itself well-placed, playing a key role with both Link and Klaytn – helping with both funding and leadership.

Kim thinks that one of Hashed’s key advantages is the fact that most of its senior executives (himself included) have a background in developing, rather than conventional finance, a fact that lets the company advise on technical matters – rather than just facilitate cash flows.

Game of blocks

Kim says investors are currently flocking to blockchain gaming – perhaps a natural move considering how powerful gaming companies in East Asia have become. This part of the world, after all, is home to powerhouses like Tencent, Bandai, Nexon and Nintendo, to name but a few.

Hashed CEO on New Trend In Crypto Startup Investing: Money Wises Up 102
Simon Kim. Source: Hashed

Blockchain and gaming are natural bedfellows, opines Kim.

“Centralized gaming is problematic,” he says. “The developers own all the assets, so those assets have no real value. It’s like Thanos’ finger snap: They can be wiped out at the drop of a hat. Only blockchain is strong enough to provide a suitable platform for gaming now. If you build a virtual world on top of decentralized foundations, that world will necessarily have more value.”

The company also has a foothold in the North American market, with offices in San Francisco. Half of its accelerator projects are based in the United States.

But there are many who believe that with Europe and the United States tech giants losing their grip at the top, East Asia is the most logical place for a blockchain revolution to begin. Big Japanese companies like Rakuten and SBI have already thrown their lot in with cryptocurrency, and most major banks in the region have already begun commercializing their blockchain operations.

China, which appears to be on the verge of a breakthrough with its digital fiat plans, is also a major blockchain player.

Regulatory roadblocks

But obstacles stand in the way of innovation in all three nations.

Japan’s crypto scene is arguably the most highly regulated in the world – with government agencies and lawmakers scrutinizing every move crypto companies make. China’s crypto-crackdown has forced many innovators overseas, with others choosing to work with the government on its own projects. And the ICO ban and restrictions on investment in cryptocurrency companies in place in South Korea have also forced many countries to relocate to Singapore or Hong Kong.

Although Seoul has happily given its blessing to a number of private blockchain projects, including local authority-run stablecoins, the central government still balks at public blockchain projects – and anything that smells too strongly of cryptocurrency.

Kim, though, is undaunted. He believes South Korea is a perfect base for blockchain accelerators.

He explains,

“The government’s ICO ban was sudden, and perhaps it came about due to an initial lack of understanding. But I’m confident that attitudes are slowly changing. I sense a real willingness to consider the future of the industry.”

He points to the government’s recent decision to award Busan, the country’s second city,with blockchain regulation-free zone status – although Seoul has already made it clear that Busan will have to put its hopes of allowing regulated ICOs on ice.

Kim says that other factors will help blockchain companies’ cause in his home country. He states, “The blockchain penetration rate and level of understanding about this technology among the general public in South Korea is the highest in the world.”

Regardless, people like Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, have already warned Seoul that it will be “hard” to separate blockchain and cryptocurrency policy.

Kim agrees with Buterin’s sentiment, but believes that attitudes will soften as common sense prevails. He says,

“Private blockchain projects alone don’t showcase the full value of the technology. Bitcoin’s growth owes much to the fact that it’s a public platform. I’m confident about the future of South Korea’s regulatory environment.”

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