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South Korea’s largest telecom could bring blockchain to 38M people

Hello blockchain? This is South Korea calling

sk planet, icon, foundation, icx, cryptocurrency, partnership

SK Planet, one of Korea’s largest telecommunications firms, is looking to step up its blockchain game with a nationwide collaboration.

The telecom giant has signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICON Foundation. The cooperation will see SK planet integrate blockchain into a number of existing products, such as OK Cashbag. The collaboration aims to make “a real-life blockchain use case.”

OK Cashbag is already one of the country’s largest loyalty programs, boasting nearly 38 million subscribers – half of the population of South Korea.

We will have to wait before we know what this use case will look like exactly. The announcement does not outline any specific details on how ICON and SK plan to incorporate blockchain into its range of products.

The whole thing is mysterious – as is most of the news of ICON development.

Unlike other companies in the blockchain space, ICON never made its software open source, which has made it difficult to assess how sound its network is.

Two months ago, ICON Head of Global Business, Henry Lee, teased a tentative release of opening the platform’s source code in the Around the Block podcast. However, there is no timeline in place.

It would seem any future developments of ICON’s platform at the moment are speculative.

It should be noted too that ICON is predominantly an ICO platform, and ICOs are banned in South Korea – for now.

ICON was able to circumnavigate the ban by launching its business from Switzerland. Despite this, it still had its token, ICX, listed on all major Korean exchanges.

As far as Korea’s ban on cryptocurrency goes, it will be interesting to see if SK Planet’s involvement in the space will convince regulators to give blockchain another go.

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Published September 20, 2018 — 15:08 UTC