Kakao expands its blockchain presence to Singapore

Kakao wants to stay competitive in Asia’s enterprise blockchain space as it considers expanding to Singapore.

Singapore, according to reports, is the next stop on Kakao’s globalization journey for its legacy blockchain platform Klaytn. According to a report published Monday by The Korea Herald, Kakao has established two new blockchain-based entities in the city-state — the Klaytn Foundation and Krust. The Klaytn Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, whereas Krust acts as a global accelerator for the adoption of blockchain technology.

Kakao intends to leverage both entities to expand the reach of its Klaytn blockchain project in Singapore. The Kakao Foundation stated during its August launch that it would work “proactively and systematically” to expand the Klaytn network.

“We will actively invest our human as well as financial resources in developers and businesses of the blockchain world to accelerate the growth of our ecosystem and the development of our technology,”

The Singapore expansion is backed by Kakao’s $300 million blockchain development war chest, which also includes a service maintenance reserve fund. As is the case with other major South Korean conglomerates, Kakao is a believer in blockchain technology. Indeed, when KT Corporation announced plans for a digital currency project in Busan in December 2019, it signaled the involvement of every major conglomerate in South Korea in blockchain-related ventures.

Closer to home, as reported by Cointelegraph, Kakao recently submitted a bid to pilot South Korea’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. ConsenSys began developing a private version of Kakao’s Klaytn network in April in preparation for a possible CBDC pilot.

Later in August, the Bank of Korea is expected to select a technology partner for the CBDC pilot. Additionally, Kakao has reportedly formed a Klaytn Governance Council with 32 Korean and foreign firms. According to reports, Kakao’s goal is to keep up with other major Asian conglomerates such as Naver in the Asia–Pacific blockchain arena. Additionally, Naver is expanding its Line blockchain project outside of Japan, into Southeast Asia.

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