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SKT to make e-commerce safer with blockchain

Apr 25,2018
SK Telecom is planning to launch a comprehensive blockchain platform that allows customers to securely manage their assets and shop online with confidence as part of the company’s drive to embrace the latest technology.

“Online commerce has become common now, but we are still cautious of buying high-priced goods like diamonds online because we are not sure whether the product is genuine,” said Oh Se-hyeon, head of SK Telecom’s blockchain business development unit during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“With blockchain technology, however, these transactions will become easier and faster.”

Blockchain is a type of digital ledger that stores records on separate computers. As distributed ledgers make it hard for outsiders to hack or manipulate data, the technology is considered a viable way to enhance security and transparency in transactions.

SK Telecom hopes to offer customers a platform where they can manage all of their financial and non-financial assets in a more secure way using blockchain technology. A detailed business plan regarding what the platform will look like or how it will work was not disclosed at the briefing.

Oh added, though, that it will be necessary for users to establish a “self-sovereign identity” on digital platforms for its transparent transaction system to work. A self-sovereign identity is a mechanism powered by blockchain technology that proves that digital users are who they claim to be.

SK Telecom is also preparing to launch a consulting platform for start-ups or small and mid-sized companies preparing for new blockchain businesses including initial coin offerings (ICO), comparable to initial public offering in the stock market. The platform, dubbed Token Exchange Hub, will give administrative support and consultation regarding how smaller firms should pursue their blockchain strategy.

Though ICOs are currently banned in Korea, Oh said she still thinks there is a need to let start-ups know what they can legally do with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]