ICON, South Korea’s most valuable blockchain project, has partnered with the country’s biggest telecommunications conglomerate SK, to possibly utilize blockchain technology and crypto in compensating users of its mileage system.
SK Planet, a subsidiary of SK that signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ICON, operates the most widely utilized mileage system in the country that has nearly 35 million users, more than half of the country’s population.
In the months ahead, SK Planet is expected to collaborate with the ICON team to utilize its blockchain technology in supporting mobile services as well as its mileage system OK Cashbag.
In July, Hani, a mainstream media outlet in South Korea, reported that OK Cashbag, the mileage system of SK, has initiated the process of developing a blockchain-based system to handle mileage payouts and various business models.
“OK Cashbag has approved the initiation of OKX Project, a blockchain technology-based project, and is currently in a phase of reviewing various business models and incentivization methods. But, SKPlanet will not engage in any initial coin offering (ICO) or fund raising pertaining to OKX Project,” Hani reported.
At the time, SK Planet did not provide any additional information on the technical intricacies of its blockchain project nor any partners the company intends to work with to streamline the process of integrating blockchain technology into its existing infrastructure.
The MoU signed between ICON and SK Planet has demonstrated the long-term strategy of SK to actively pursue its plans to integrate blockchain technology. Experts have suggested that the partnership between ICON and Line, one of the biggest messaging apps in Asia, encouraged SK to work with ICON to release its first blockchain product.
J.H. Kim, the council member of ICON Foundation said:
“Through cooperation with SK Planet, which has OK Cashbag and Syrup services already being widely used by the public, ICON will keep up the hard work to popularize blockchain.”
SK Planet executive JM Park added that the conglomerate will cooperate with small and medium-size enterprises to commercialize the blockchain across Asia. He explained:
“Blockchain appears to be one of the key technologies that will promote market transformation in existing industry for the medium and long term. SK Planet will work with ICON to derive synergies in various fields so that we can offer differentiated benefits to our customers.”
Major Conglomerates are Going Full Crypto and Blockchain
In South Korea, LG, Samsung, SK, and many other multi-billion conglomerates have continued to show increasing interest towards the blockchain, possibly due to the acknowledgement of the technology the government of South Korea as one of the three pillars of the fourth industrial revolution, alongside AI and big data.
Samsung has been operating a foundry to manufacture crypto ASIC miners, SK has financed major cryptocurrency exchange Korbit, and Kakao has been supporting Upbit, the country’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform operated by Dunamu.
The partnership between ICON and SK Planet can be considered as the first major step towards materializing the plans of the conglomerate of utilizing crypto to compensate the users of OK Cashbag mileage system.