Top 7 crypto & blockchain startups in Korea


  1. Crypto & Bitcoin Exchange  Upbit  거래소  –  10.97M, $4.358 billion trading volume (24h)

    • Gã khổng lồ Hàn Quốc Hanwha nắm cổ phần thiểu số trong Upbit - Cộng đồng tiền điện tử

      The top four crypto exchanges in Korea are Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit.

    • There was a time the crypto trading volume in Korea is even surpassed the stock trading volume. Now the Korean government is tightening the regulation, and the last downturn of Bitcoin from $60k to around $30k also made lots of people out of the crypto market.
    • According to Wikipedia: Upbit launched in South Korea on October 24, 2017 with the help of their partnership with American cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. Sirgoo Lee was named CEO of Dunamu, Upbit’s parent company, on December 21, 2017, with Dunamu founder and CEO Chi-hyung Song assuming the role of Chairman. Lee previously served as Co-CEO of Kakao Corp.
    • Approximately two months after its launch, Upbit became the top global cryptocurrency exchange in terms of 24-hour trading volume
  2. Terra Luna – marketcap $12.6B

    • Terra is a blockchain protocol that uses fiat-pegged stablecoins to power price-stable global payments systems. According to its white paper, Terra combines the price stability and wide adoption of fiat currencies with the censorship-resistance of Bitcoin (BTC) and offers fast and affordable settlements.

      Terra was founded in January 2018 by Daniel Shin and Do Kwon. The two conceived of the project as a way to drive the rapid adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency through a focus on price stability and usability. Kwon took on the position of CEO of Terraform Labs, the company behind Terra.

      Prior to developing Terra, Shin co-founded and headed Ticket Monster, otherwise known as TMON — a major South Korean e-commerce platform. He later co-founded Fast Track Asia, a startup incubator working with entrepreneurs to build fully functional companies.

      Kwon previously founded and served as CEO of Anyfi, a startup providing decentralized wireless mesh networking solutions. He has also worked as a software engineer for Microsoft and Apple

  3. ICON Foundation – marketcap $1.147B

    • ICON is a decentralized blockchain network focused on interoperability. With ICON’s “blockchain transmission protocol”, independent blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum can connect and transact with each other. This opens up cross-chain use cases that are impossible without an interoperability layer like ICON.

      ICON Network describes itself as a general-purpose blockchain protocol based on the native cryptocurrency ICX that can run smart contracts, adopt the BFT-DPoS (Delegated Proof-of-Stake) consensus protocol, and use an economic-governance protocol called DPoC (Delegated Proof-of-Contribution). The ICON Network is powered by a proprietary blockchain engine called ‘loopchain’ and has the ability to handle hundreds of transactions per second. The ICON project was started to ensure the integrity and transparency of data shared between institutions and companies, and to move mutual assets on heterogeneous blockchains without a centralized organization. In the long term, ICON Network aims to become an ‘interchain’ that connects multiple blockchains based on BTP technology.

      The ICON blockchain is powered by loopchain, a blockchain engine designed by ICONLOOP. ICONLOOP is responsible for loopchain’s government and enterprise adoption in South Korea. Loopchain is the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s standard blockchain platform.

  4. Blocko  –  Platform Player for Everyone’s Blockchain

    BLOCKO is a blockchain specialized technology company that has experienced and achieved the largest amount of business cases in South Korea.

    By launching AERGO mainnet in 2018, Blocko will develop a blockchain solution that will help enterprises and the public to utilize the blockchain to a various extent. Blockchain is an infrastructure. Blockchain is composed of multiple technologies and the application and implementation of blockchain to the real world is not an easy task.
    Despite the fact that many people recognize the possibilities of blockchain, there is hesitation and difficulty in introducing this technology. BLOCKO provides a highly reliable blockchain platform by leveraging the technologies and the vast experience the company has gained over the years. Its technologies and bright future prospects are being recognized not only in the domestic market, but also in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and the United States.

  5. MediBloc – Blockchain based Healthcare Information Ecosystem

    • Marketcap $540.2M
    • MediBloc’s original goal was to complete the integrated healthcare platform and provide solutions at each point of contact for healthcare services, including providing new experiences.

      They have since secured partnerships with more than 20 domestic and international medical interests and have been proving the value of partnership with several key achievements, including winning two medical-related awards and attracting 4 billion won in Series A investment.

      Furthermore, Medipass, a platform that allows individuals to easily utilize their patient information, has been actively expanded and adopted by several large hospitals and insurance companies, and Medibloc has also completed preparations for the first blockchain-based DID vaccine certificate service in South Korea.

      The next generation of EHR solutions, Dr. Palette, can now directly utilize hospital-generated healthcare data. It has been prepared for the purpose of extending the medical period focusing on pediatric adolescents, and its value has been recognized by near-perfect scores in clinical satisfaction surveys.

  6. Cosmochain – Taking true value of beauty to the next level

    • Connecting customers and companies through a mutually beneficial beauty ecosystem
    • Transparent Distribution

      If a company utilizes information provided or created by customers, the information providers get rewards with using blockchain in a completely transparent manner.

      Sharing Rewards

      For business models that self-create extra values using such information, both the platform and data providers shall share rewards in order to continue the improvement of the platform.

      Ecosystem Operation

      Company participants contribute to the stable operation of the Cosmochain ecosystem by actively and fairly utilizing customers’ data.

  7. Kasa – a financial service platform that allows people to invest in commercial real estate

    Partnership with real estate investment platform

    • Kasa Korea, a property technology startup, has raised some 9.2 billion won ($7.8 million) in a pre-series B funding round. The latest funding was led by the state-run Korea Development Bank.

      Silicon Valley venture capitals and domestic investment firms, including Northern Light Venture Capital, and Kona I Partners, participated in the fundraising round as financial investors and interior firm Kukbo Design was involved as a strategic partner.

      The proptech startup has so far attracted a combined 20 billion won from domestic and global investors.

  8. Haechi Labs – digital asset management firm

    • HaechiLabs, KB Kookmin Bank and Hashed established a comprehensive digital asset management firm called KODA(Korea Digital Asset).

      KODA targets companies and institutions that are aiming to engage with digital assets. This would include virtual asset service providers such as virtual asset exchanges. And, KODA is planning to provide services like virtual asset custody, AML solution, OTC and so on. Furthermore, KODA aims to become the bank for the digital asset market by expanding its services to virtual asset deposit, loan and payment.

      Haechi Labs will primarily focus on developing the most advanced digital asset solution for institutions.

  9.  Kodebox (CodeChain) – an end-to-end solution for real-world asset digitization

    • GitHub - CodeChain-io/codechain-exchange: A decentralized exchange platform  for CodeChain
    • A blockchain platform tailored to support legal requirements and privacy for the next generation digital securities
    • Legal compliance Token-level built-in support for regulatory compliant issuance and transactions (KYC/AML)
    • Programmable assets Instant dividend or interest payouts, buybacks, voting, asset composition, decomposition/recomposition
    • Increased liquidity Native support for algorithm- based autonomous liquidity reserve mechanism
  10. HUPAYX – crypto payment platform for local merchants

    • HUPAYX’s end-to-end mobile payment platform is based on Hybrid Blockchain coupled with TechFin business model, which is operated by The Human Plus – a System Integrator and Development company based in Seoul, South Korea.
    • Creating a New Global Paradigm in Blockchain Based Everyday Economy

      By combining various blockchain technologies and networks, they are introducing the HUPAYX platform, which not only competes with the existing centralized payment system but also solves problems related to real life Digital Currency utilization. This next generation payment platform aims at creating an environment in which both blockchain and Digital Currency technology can be used in everyday life, by everyday people.

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