State-owned KT Corporation, South Korea’s largest telephone company, has announced the launch of its blockchain-powered commercial network. The firm has built a blockchain layer on top of its existing nationwide network in order to make it “more secure and transparent,” according to an article by The Korea Herald published Tuesday, July 24.
The news outlet reports the head of KT Blockchain Center Seo Young-il as saying that blockchain tech can be used in telecommunications for secure and efficient data management. Seo added:“The whole point of applying blockchain to networks is to address security and transaction issues by making the current networks more secure and trusted.”
With its new network, KT plans to allow its individual and corporate clients to store and transfer their digital data with “less hacking risks,” The Korea Herald further reports. The network has a claimed capacity of 2,500 transactions per second (TPS), compared to Bitcoin’s (BTC) 3 TPS and Ethereum’s (ETH) 15 TPS.
KT Corp. also has plans to offer blockchain-based roaming services with international mobile carriers, such as NTT Docomo, the top provider in Japan. According to The Korea Herald, the use of blockchain will allow the company to calculate roaming bills in real time and improve the speed of internet connection for customers.
Cointelegraph reported on July 6 that KT Corporation has joined the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), a global blockchain consortium of telecom companies whose goal is to create a cross-carrier blockchain ecosystem with such capabilities as “[cell phone] top-up, roaming wallet, secured clearing and settlement, personal authentication [and] IoT applications.”
The blockchain market in Korea is expected to grow 20 times over in four years - from $44 million in 2018 to about $887 million in 2022 - The Korea Herald reports, citing the country’s Ministry of Science and information and communications technology (ICT).
Crypto-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital has recently led a $52.5 million fundraising round for crypto-lending firm BlockFi, according a blog post by the company July 24.
Galaxy Digital CEO and founder Mike Novogratz confirmed in a tweet that he is, “excited to get into the crypto lending business.” With the new round of investment, the startup will reportedly be able to expand its business outside the U.S. and to support more cryptocurrencies.
BlockFi, featuring “loans backed by your cryptoassets,” offers corporate and retail loans on their digital asset holdings. BlockFi currently offers loans on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
The New York-based firm was launched in January 2018 by Zac Prince, a former senior vice president of lease payments operator Cognical, according to Business Insider. BlockFi raised money in two rounds this year, receiving $1.55 million from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi, and Kenetic Capital in February.
Prince stated that the recent investment by Novogratz is a “strategic step towards BlockFi delivering credit across the crypto ecosystem,” stressing the company has faced a high demand on crypto-lending services.
“The support we’ve seen from existing clients and investors highlight the strong demand for leveraging Bitcoin or Ether for low-cost USD loans. We look forward to expanding our services to support more cryptocurrencies and more geographic markets in the near future.”
Last week, Novogratz predicted that mass adoption of crypto and blockchain is “still five to six years away.” The Wall Street exec said that more institutions will enter the industry “in the next two to three years,” claiming that “without that, we will be running in circles.”