Top 10 Blockchain Industries in Korea by 2020

Blockchain Industries in South Korea

The Blockchain is one of the most promising new technologies for the future.  Some might say it is a game changer just like the internet back in the 90s.  The Blockchain provides a way to record and transfer data that is transparent, safe, auditable, and resistant to outages.  Therefore, the Blockchain will most likely disrupt many industries in Korea in the next decade.   They have already disrupted the crowdfunding industries with ICOs as more and more Korean companies are going outside of Korea to do ICOs.  Here are the top 10 Blockchain industries in Korea by 2020.

10.  Voting

This is one of the most important areas in society that Blockchain will disrupt.   In 2017, South Korea’s spy agency admitted they tried to influence Korea’s 2012 presidential elections by using psychological warfare.  In the end, it worked as Park Geun-Hye ended up being the president.  We all know how that turned out (in prison for corruption and abuse of power).  The election in 2012 was very close.  Park beat the current president, Moon Jae-In by only a few percentage points.  This shows that the spy agency played a big role in the election.

America recently had their own issues regarding elections.  Many feel Russia played a big role in rigging the election for Donald Trump.  Korea does not want this to happen for 2020.  Blockchain technology can be used for voter registration, identity verification, and electronic vote counting.  This will ensure that only legitimate votes are counted and no votes are changed or removed.  Therefore, Korea could lead the way in implementing Blockchain technologies to truly hold a fair election.  Creating an immutable, publically-open ledger of recorded votes would be a massive step forward in making elections more fair and democratic in Korea.  Many Blockchain Industires in Korea will incorporate a Blockchain voting system.

9.  Real Estate

Some of the issues in buying and selling real estate in Korea are bureaucracy, lack of transparency, fraud, and mistakes in public records. Real estate is big in Korea.  About 70% of Korean household property was found to be real estate.  Which means real estate assets account for a large portion of a Korean household’s assets.  This is why Korea real estate is so important in Korea and many regard buying houses as a means of investment.  This is why real estate deals need a trusted third party and take a lot of time to process.

Using Blockchain technologies can speed up transactions by reducing the need for paper-based record keeping.  It can also help with tracking, verifying ownership, ensuring the accuracy of documents, and transferring property deeds.  For Korea who relies heavily on real estate, it would benefit them to start incorporating Blockchain technologies early.

8.  Online Music

Even people think of Korea they usually think of K-pop first.  K-pop has not only taken Asia by storm by the whole world.  However what most do not realize is that a vast majority of these K-pop stars do not earn a lot of money.  While groups that come out from SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, or JYP Entertainment might get paid immediately when they debut, other companies require all money earned to go back to the company who invested in them.  Some have said some K-pop artists earn around $400 per overseas shows after the company takes their cut which could be as high as 90%.

Therefore these mid-level K-pop stars and musicians in Korea as a whole need to find new ways to get paid.  This is where Blockchain technologies can allow for musicians to get paid directly from their fans.  K-pop fans are very loyal and there is a market to make sure their money goes directly to the artist and not the corporations.  Musicians will now not have to give up a large percentage of sales from record companies.  Also, smart contracts can automatically be used to solve licensing issues and better catalog songs with their respective creators.

7.  Charity

Blockchain Industries in Korea CharityKorea had a very big scandal in 2010.  One of Korea’s largest charity organization called Community Chest of Korea also known as “Sarangeui Yeolmae” were found to have fixed their accounting records to cover up irregularities in spending.  They were also suspected of having given special favors in hiring staff at the request of senior officials at the organization.  Since then Korea has been reluctant to give to charity organizations and many organizations in Korea since then have gone under.
One of the main complaints in the charity space that Korea has to solve is corruption and inefficiency which prevent the money from reaching those that really need it.  Using Blockchain technology to track donations can let you be sure that your money is going to end up in the right hands.  The Blockchain’s secure and transparent distributed ledger lets the donors see that the intended party has received the funds.  Hopefully, through Blockchain technologies, people in Korea will start to give to charities like they did in the past.

6.  Transporation

While ride-sharing is popular in the west, in Korea only about 2 out of 10 Koreans use ride-sharing services.  Therefore there is still a huge market and opportunity in Korea.  The biggest advantage of ride-sharing services is the low costs.  Korea’s top ride-sharing company Poolus feel the main goal is educating Korea on the benefits of ride-sharing.  Currently, ride-sharing services account for only 1% of taxi rides.  Therefore there is still a lot of room for growth.

The Blockchain can be used to create decentralized peer-to-peer ride-sharing apps.  This will allow both car owners and users to arrange terms and conditions in a secure way without third-party providers like Poolus.  The use of built-in e-wallets can allow car owners to automatically pay for parking, highway tolls, and electricity top-ups to their vehicle.  Transporation will be changed a lot and it will be one of the most impactful Blockchain industries in Korea that will affect everyday Koreans.

5.  Cybersecurity

South Korea has been under attack from hackers for many years.  This makes sense since South Korea is one of the most dominant tech countries in the world.  North Korean hackers have done many cyber attacks on South Korea.  North Korea has also been accused of stealing from cryptocurrency exchanges.

More and more South Korean companies will incorporate Blockchain technologies for better security online.  While the Blockchain ledger is public, the data is verified and encrypted using advanced cryptography.  The Blockchain eliminates the need for middlemen making it more efficient than many legacy systems and cybersecurity.  Cybersecurity will be one of the most important Blockchain industries in Korea for the Korean government.

4.  IOT

Blockchain industries in Korea IoTThe IoT is the connected world of devices, vehicles, buildings, and etc embedded with software, sensors, and network connectivity.  This connected world also brings bad actors looking to hack into the system.  This is why Blockchain and IoT go so well together.  Blockchain can solve many of the problems IoT faces in regards to providing a secure, low-cost way for devices to interact.

Samsung and IBM are using Blockchain technologies for a new concept called ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry).  This will create a decentralized network of IoT devices operating like a public ledger for large devices.  It would eliminate the need for a central location to handle communications between them.  The devices would be able to communicate to each other directly to update software, manage bugs, and monitor energy usage.

3.  Healthcare

In Korea, there are very few community hospitals.  Many doctor’s offices and hospitals in Korea are privately owned.  Korea provides a national health insurance which everyone must be a part of.  Koreans only get private health insurance to cover expenses that the national health insurance does not cover.

So a Korean would visit a doctor.  After the diagnosis, the patient pays a small deductible to get a prescription.  Then the patient will need to go to a pharmacy to get the prescription.  Again she will pay a small deductible.  Then the doctor and the pharmacist claim the full cost (set by NHIC).

Koreans have limited coverage from their healthcare.  Therefore Korean who have issues with chronic conditions or complex diseases like cancer, the NHIC will not cover it.  This is why many Koreans get cancer insurance in Korea.  Doctors in Korea also do not earn as much as Doctors in America or Europe.  This is because even if you are the best doctor in Korea, you still have to charge the NHIC set price, which is already low.  While the Blockchain cannot change these current standings, they can help in other ways.

Challenges for Hospitals in Korea

One of the main challenges hospitals face is the lack of a secure platform to store and share data.  They are also victims of hacking because of outdated infrastructure.  Blockchain technologies can allow hospitals to safely store data like medical records and share with the authorized professionals or patients.  Therefore, this will improve data security and can even help improve accuracy and speed of diagnosis.  In addition, Korean doctors need to see as many patients as possible which means having a fast and accurate diagnosis is a Korean doctor’s main concern.

The healthcare sector in Korea is the readiest now for Blockchain technology transformation in relation to security, and accountability of electronic health records and health information technology, medical supply chains, payment methodologies, research capabilities, and data ownership.  Many healthcare Blockchain companies, like Zikto, Medibloc, and My23  launched their ICOs abroad because of Korea’s ICO ban.  Healthcare will be one of the main Blockchain industries in Korea by the end of 2020.

2.  Government

Government systems are often slow and prone to corruption.  Korea has learned a lot because of Park Geun-Hye and her corruption scandal.  If any country needs transparency in their government it is Korea.  Using Blockchain based systems can significantly reduce bureaucracy and increase security, efficiency, and transparency of governmental operations.  For example, the public benefits provided the government can use Blockchain technologies to help assess, verify, and distribute welfare or unemployment benefits in a much more streamlined and secure way.

Samsung Electronics Co. is the most-valuable multinational tech company by market capitalization and is at the heart of Blockchain innovation in South Korea.  They were also at the center of the Park Geun-Hye scandal.  Now that Samsung Group has launched various integrated Blockchain platforms which can be used in all industries such as Fintech and Govtech.  It is important for the Korean government monitor and regulation the Blockchain and crypto space with integrity.  History has shown that the more a country embraces new technology the higher chance for development and innovation in that country.

1. Banking and Payments

Blockchain Industries in Korea BankingMany financial experts feel the Blockchain will do to banking what the internet did to media.  Out of all the Blockchain industries in Korea, banking will have the biggest impact.  The Blockchain technology can be used to give access to financial services to billions of people around the world.  Especially to those that don’t have access to traditional banks.  Technologies like Bitcoin allow anyone to send money across borders almost instantly with very low fees.  Korean banks are increasingly investing in blockchain projects and startups.

Just a few weeks ago, South Korea’s central bank, the Bank of Korea, announced they were thinking about cryptocurrency and blockchain applications for their future projects for a cashless society.  It is very likely that most banks in Korea such as Shinhan, Woori, and etc will start applying blockchains and passwords to payments.  The major goal of the Bank of Korea project is to reduce the cost of producing physical currencies.  South Korea spends close to $50 million in issuing physical currency.

Korean banks will continue to do research and monitoring on digital currencies.  Much the same way the Korean government is doing.  South Korea is home to some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges such as Upbit and Bithumb (5th and 6th in the world).  The more Koreans start embracing cryptocurrencies the faster the Banks will adapt.  It is very possible South Korea will be a cashless society by 2020!

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Email = [email protected] if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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