-Naver and Kakao once again fight over the coin market
While the two big tech giants in Korea Naver and Kakao continue to compete, there are observations that the two companies can form a competitive structure in the cryptocurrency market. Previously, the Bank of Korea had signed a research contract for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) simulation with Ground X, a blockchain subsidiary of Kakao which issues Klaytn.
In the meantime, Link, unlike Klaytn, has not been listed on the Korean cryptocurrency market. Since Line is only listed in overseas cryptocurrency market like Bitfront, Korean investors had to go through complicated procedures to make investments. Klaytn is currently listed on Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.
But as it is listed on Bithumb from Aug. 13, more Korean investors are expected to make investments with it. However, since Bithumb is only listed on the BTC market, investors cannot purchase directly with KRW. They have to go through the procedure of purchasing a link with the Bitcoin they have purchased.
LINE blockchain announced its business plan for 2021 at the end of April and announced that it would increase liquidity and expand link users by additionally listing link on other exchange markets. After that, it selected Bithumb of Korea as its first exchange market.
-Yellowknife and Fittrix sign MOU to develop mobility based on external biometric information
Yellowknife signed a business agreement with Fittrix, a healthcare startup specializing in biometric information measurement, for developing mobility services using external biometric information.
The mobility startup Yellowknife is a company in the Pangyo Startup Zone established by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and operated by Korea Institute of Startups & Entrepreneurship Development and Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. It is developing the Veloga Auto Service, a service that allows users to directly customize the vehicle dashboard UI by connecting to a smartphone app. Recently, the company successfully completed POC (Proof of Concept) to the Veloga Auto Service for Kia Motors’ vehicle Carnival.
Fittrix is an image recognition-based healthcare solution startup. It is operating an out-body measurement service that recognizes user’s biometric information with a smart mirror and analyzes it with AI to provide a customized fitness solution to users.
Through this agreement, Yellowknife will solve bio problems that may occur while driving. Based on the body information of occupants previously measured with the Fittrix service, it is developing content to induce safe driving and reduce fatigue caused by long-term driving, such as suggesting posture correction and stretching methods.
-What is Nexon’s metaverse challenge “Project MOD?”
Nexon (CEO Lee Jung-heon) declared to enter the metaverse field with its new project “Project MOD” which it released on Aug. 5. It is a content making platform that is being developed with the goal of creating a next-generation playground.
Project MOD is designed so that anyone can freely create and play content. Users can create various contents by adding MapleStory assets and also resources they have created themselves. Through this, Nexon aims to create a metaverse ecosystem where space is connected with reality beyond the virtual world in Project MOD.
The biggest feature of Project MOD is that it provides a vast amount of graphic resources of Nexon’s popular intellectual property (IP) MapleStory for free in the platform. In addition to that, it introduces a creative environment with a high degree of freedom in which user-generated content (UGC) can be freely added. By combining MapleStory IP with images and sounds created by creators, users can create games, social spaces, and lifestyle content.
In order to lower the barriers to creation, it also worked hard on an intuitive production environment. Even without programming knowledge, anyone can easily create content using the production tool called MOD Maker. If programming is used, it can be designed with more detail.
The content created can be sold directly by the creator with the business model attached. Nexon plans to provide related systems so that economic activities between users can take place in the Project MOD platform.
-NCSoft publishes the first ESG report in the game industry
On Aug. 12, NCSoft published NCSoft ESG Playbook 2020, a sustainability report containing the vision and performance of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) management for the first time as a Korean game company.
NC created a separate page on sustainability management on its official website and released a report containing its management vision and detailed activities.
NC is developing its sustainable management by focusing on the following: △ Healthy organizational culture and unbiased fun to embrace social diversity both inside and outside the content, △ Reliable global service environment for establishing a global security system, △ Technological development and ethical values for developing human-centered AI technologies, and △ Giving opportunities for future generations that contains the activities for socially weak people.
NCSoft ESG Management Chairman Yoon Song-yi said, “As we planned to publish the first sustainable management report, we thought and prepared what NC, a technology R&D company, could truly put into practice. We are going to embrace social diversity throughout the contents and put effort to fulfill the social responsibilities of the corporates required in the digital era.”
Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.
Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.
With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.