Korea’s Kakao and Samsung, Japan’s Line and GMO, Japan’s Rakuten, Russia’s Telegram and America’s Overstock ... All these are ICT (information and communication technology) companies investing in digital assets and blockchain projects actively. Chain Partners’ Research Center predicts that should global ICT firms dominating the internet and mobile come forward to invest in blockchain projects, the situation could change in an instant. This raises the possibility of a dramatic change in the current situation in which the number of global internet users exceeds 4.2 billion whereas DAU (daily active users) of popular DApps (decentralized applications) remain at thousands.
At present, internet hegemony is seized by companies from the U.S. and China, according to the Research Center. They are American internet companies represented by FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) and MAGA (Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple) and Chinese internet firms represented by BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent), which are holding hegemony over the internet industry. Other ICT companies are attempting to exploit technologies related to digital assets and blockchain technology to overturn the status quo. In particular, such MIM (mobile instant messenger) firms as Telegram, Line and Kakao are issuing their own tokens and struggling to build an ecosystem for blockchain.
The Research Center says smartphone makers can feel tempted to install blockchain functions for product differentiation. Samsung Electronics’ preemptive installation of the Blockchain KeyStore on its flagship smartphone Galaxy S10 reflects the electronic giant’s will to differentiate its premium products in software as well as in hardware. The Research Center expected the blockchain functions to be applied to low-end handsets in accordance with customer feedback.
The Research Center said it’s necessary to take note of Facebook’s move. Bloomberg reported last December that Facebook was developing its own stablecoin intended for remittance, using WhatsApp. Facebook also acquired blockchain startup Chainspace last month to recruit more blockchain specialists.
Facebook’s announcement to integrate message functions of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook is quite suggestive. If Facebook releases the tentatively named “Facebook Coin” using the integrated messenger platform, more than 2.3 billion users all over the world can gain access to digital assets and blockchain.
Han Jung-seop, head of the Research Center, said there will be an upheaval in the global retail banking if global ICT firms put spurs to the fintech business using cross-border digital assets. “It is not domestic fintech startups but global ICT firms armed with enormous capital and users that Korean banks relying heavily on loan-deposit margins should hold in check.” /email@example.com
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