Popular South Korean actor and businessman Bae Yong-joon has invested an undisclosed sum in blockchain-based seafood trade startup Seamon.
Revealing the news exclusively to CoinDesk Korea, Seamon head Lee Jung-hoon said that, while he cannot disclose the amount of Bae's investment, it is “a meaningful amount” worth “more than tens of millions" of South Korean won. One hundred million won is worth around $88,510 at press time.
Lee further said that Bae has long been interested in the food businesses, including marine products. So, when Lee asked Bae to be an advisor to the Seamon project, he instead “signed an investment contract last month.”
Seamon is developing a blockchain-based seafood transaction and smart contract system, according to information from its white paper. The project aims to make global seafood transactions “as transparent as possible, reduce unnecessary expenses, and achieve the faster and safer international transactions.”
The team is also creating a cryptocurrency called Seamon coin, which will be used in payments and as a store of value. It is also planning to launch an exchange called SeamonX for seafood trading market in Q3 or Q4 of this year, the white paper indicates.
The project aims to address common problems with the international trade in marine products such as defaulting on payments, or late payments. With marine products, this is a particularly vital issue to solve, as their freshness quickly expires, the report says.
Importers will be able to purchase Seamon coins from SeamonX and exchange them for products, making payments in real time. Exporters will be able to exchange the tokens for fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar, or the stablecoin tether (USDT), Lee said.
Seamon coin is already listed on the BCEX exchange with the ticker symbol SMEX, according to CoinDesk Korea. The exchange will also carry out a free distribution, or "airdrop," of about 5 billion won ($4.42 million) in tokens from March 25.
CoinDesk Korea also adds that the news marks Bae's first known investment in a blockchain startup. His net worth is estimated at around $135 million.
Korean fish market image via Shutterstock
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.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.