South Korea’s Kakao is looking to list its cryptocurrency on an exchange but it may not be able to list the token domestically, according to a report from News1, a Korean news service.
While the company is now looking at two exchanges for the possible trading of Klay—one in China and the other in Korea—the government may prevent it from choosing a platform in the home country. News1 quoted an anonymous official as saying that Kakao is just too big to ignore and that it would be difficult to allow the trading.
Kakao is the 36th largest conglomerate in the country, according to recent data from the Fair Trade Commission, and has 10.6 trillion won ($8.8 billion) in assets. The company does everything from finance to entertainment, and its KakaoTalk instant messenger app is reported to have over 400 million users, although only about 10 percent of those are considered active.
Kakao’s Ground X subsidiary is developing the Klip wallet, which will support Klay. Klip will be enabled on KakaoTalk.
The Korean government has been concerned about crypto in the country since the frenzied trading of 2017 and early 2018, banning initial coin offerings in September 2017 and making it difficult for crypto exchanges to open proper bank accounts for exchange operations and the conversion of crypto to fiat. While it has been willing to allow some gray area activity, such as the use of normal corporate accounts by exchanges and the trading of offshore coins, the News1 story suggests that the authorities would not look the other way for Kakao.
A listing of any kind would be an about face for the company. Jae-Sun Han, the CEO of Ground X, said in late 2018 that Klay would not be traded on exchanges and was designed mainly for developers seeking to utilize the company’s Klaytn public blockchain platform.
Han did say at the Kakao Developers Conference in Seoul on Friday that the company’s Klip wallet would be introduced officially in the fourth quarter.
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