South Korea’s crypto business could have suffered a physique blow over the weekend, with a slew of exchanges and pockets suppliers closing or suspending enterprise operations: a troublesome regulatory deadline turned a once-thriving sector into a tiny “oligopoly.” However the story could be very totally different on the earth of blockchain-based pay and fiat KRW-pegged stablecoins.
The Korea Minting and Safety Printing Company (KOMSCO) is a agency that till comparatively just lately made its cash from money: the corporate prints banknotes and mints cash for the treasury.
However lately, it has moved away from paper and notes, and deeper into the fast-growing world of native stablecoins. Working along with metropolis and provincial authorities across the nation, KOMSCO has rolled out scores of native stablecoins and blockchain-powered paperless present certificates.
Many authorities used these packages to ship the equal of coronavirus pandemic-mitigating stimulus checks to native residents – in a drive to steer folks away from monolithic e-commerce platforms and again towards native companies. Seoul has additionally been on a “cashless” and “contact-free” drive, an element that has helped KOMSCO enhance its vary of stablecoin choices.
Final yr, the corporate posted record profits, went on a hiring drive and introduced plans to pay its employees a portion of their salaries in stablecoins.
Now the agency seems able to make one other push ahead into the world of cash-free, blockchain-powered funds. Per the Choongchung Instances, the KOMSCO’s personal blockchain-powered present certificates platform, Chak, rolled out in 37 cities and counties nationwide final yr, after launching in 2019. However by the tip of this yr, the platform could have rolled out in an extra 70 cities and counties throughout South Korea.
A rising variety of native authorities are additionally turning to Chak, which the media outlet famous has been adopted by 270,000 distributors and franchises as of the primary half of this yr. Over 1.1m people have begun utilizing the platform to make funds, and the whole cumulative worth of the present vouchers bought on Chak up to now is round USD 1.7bn.
However the largest buyer for the Chak platform by far seems to be native governments. Metropolis and provincial authorities have paid their civil servants’ bonuses and different charges utilizing Chak certificates quite than fiat, and have up to now spent a whopping USD 76.2m on the platform.