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​Kakao to unveil blockchain platform within the year

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Kakao will unveil its own open blockchain platform within the year but will not create its own virtual currency, the South Korean chat giant's co-CEO has said.

The company formed a blockchain subsidiary based in Japan[1] called Ground X this month.

The goal is to make an open platform that others can participate in that will be the biggest in Asia, Kakao said in a press conference in Seoul.

Co-CEO Joh Su-yong also denied previous reports of an ICO, locally or abroad, and said the firm had no plan to print a so-called "Kakao coin".

Joh said a blockchain platform that is combined with multiple services will be greatly influential, but at this stage the company is making a foundation for such developments in the future.

"An open ecosystem is important to us. We are beginning dialogues with partners that want to create a blockchain token economy in Asia," the co-CEO said.

South Korea banned digital currency offerings[2] last year.

Kakao also said it was planning a "drawer" service for digital assets collected by its chat app Kakao Talk.

The company will also integrate more IoT devices to its AI speaker, Kakao Mini, launched last November[3], going forward.

It launched a closed beta test[4] for its AI platform, Kakao I, earlier this month.

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