Korean Messaging Giant Kakao to Launch Blockchain Subsidiary

South Korean internet giant Kakao, which owns the popular messaging app Kakao Talk, is reportedly moving to integrate blockchain in its business.

AccessTimeIconMar 6, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:38 a.m. UTC

South Korean internet giant Kakao, which owns the popular messaging app Kakao Talk, is reportedly moving to integrate blockchain technology in its business.

Local news source The Bell reported Monday that Kakao is considering the launch of a wholly-owned subsidiary that will focus on developing blockchain applications.

Furthermore, the firm may be planning an initial coin offering (ICO). If so, the move echoes that of Telegram, another instant messenger company that claims to have netted $850 million so far through its multi-stage ICO.

According to another report by TechCrunch today, Kakao has confirmed that it aims to set up a blockchain unit, although no further details were revealed.

However, the company did not comment on the possibility of holding an ICO. Notably, the South Korea government explicitly banned the blockchain-based fund-raising activity in September last year.

The news follows Kakao's previous involvement in the launch of Upbit, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange.

As reported by CoinDesk in September 2017, the company integrated its messaging service with the trading platform, allowing Upbit users to chat and place orders via the platform.

Earlier this year, Japanese messaging giant LINE also announced a plan to launch a new company providing cryptocurrency transactions, as well as exchange and loan services.

Kakao Talk app image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.