South Korean internet service provider Kakao plans to focus on a blockchain-based business unit. The company currently operates KakaoTalk, the largest messaging app in the South Korea. The internet company plans to move into the crypto world through the new subsidiary.
Plans of Kakao blockchain subsidiary
A representative from the company assured the validity of the plans of the company on the subsidiary initiative. The company has recruited the CTO of FuturePlay gaming startup, Han Jaesun to lead the new business unit. According to Reuters, the company might be trying to set up a service using the blockchain subsidiary to raise funds visa Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). But, the company did not comment on the intention of setting up the unit.
Finance and Cryptocurrency Analyst, Joseph Young tweeted on 5th March 2018 on a related note;
“Kakao, which operates KakaoTalk and KakaoPay that have 90% penetration in messaging and fintech markets in South Korea, created a blockchain company…”
In 2017, Kakao opened the trading exchange Upbit via its Dunamu affiliate making an investment in the crypto world.
Messaging apps embracing the crypto world
There are more messaging app companies following the path taken by Kakao. The new communication app LINE in Japan announced plans to create a crypto exchange connected to its chat app with the intention of exploring the blockchain services. Meanwhile, Telegram raised a large investment through the ICO that could hit 2 billion USD in worth. Another chat app “Kik” managed to raise over 100 million USD through an ICO event for the purpose of migrating service to the blockchain. A project named “Status” held an ICO to build a fully-decentralized service on the Ethereum blockchain raising over 100 million USD.
Kakao operates businesses including ride-sharing, games, payments, etc. with a vertical focus on business attributes. Recently, there have been lot of focus to improve these businesses. The hypothetical “Kakao Coin” has the possibility to be used as a native currency on these platforms. In 2017, Kakao Mobility raised over 400 million USD from investors, while Kakao Games managed to pull 130 million USD. The company keeps a keen eye on M&A opportunities following a raise of 1 billion USD share offering in Singapore.