The two representative internet companies in Korea, Naver and Kakao, are about to compete in the blockchain area this time.
Naver and Kakao started their blockchain businesses by disclosing their block chain platforms “Link Chain” and “Clayton,” respectively, through their affiliates.
Naver presented “Link Chain” and the cryptocurrency “Link” used in the platform through its subsidiary, Line. Link is a compensatory type of coin that is provided to users according to their contribution when they use services released through Link Chain.
Link will be used also as the payment and compensation method for a variety of services including contents, commerce, social, games, and cryptocurrency exchanges in addition to the coming user compensation-based content of Line. Link has already started to be distributed to users through Line’s cryptocurrency exchange "Bitbox."
Kakao is also developing blockchain platform “Clayton” through its blockchain affiliate Ground X. The test net will debut in October, and Clayton-based services will also be released then. Kakao plans to introduce “Clay,” the cryptocurrency used in Clayton, too. Like Link, Clay is will be rewarded to the users who enjoy the services powered by Clayton.
The industry foresees that the launch of blockchain platforms by Naver and Kakao will speed up the popularization of the blockchain industry. In particular, industry watchers predict that promotions through Line and Kakao Talk, which are messengers with more than 200 million users around the world, will bring a massive increase in the number of block-chain-based service users.
Accordingly, the competition between the two companies in the area of contents seem indispensable. Based on the messenger services, Naver and Line have been leading various areas of contents, such as games through Line Games, webtoons through Line Mangga, and video streaming platform through Naver TV.
Kakao has also used Kakao Talk in the game services to boost its income. Kakao has now become a large contents company that owns webtoon and web novel platform Kakao Page, the game subsidiary Kakao Games, and Kakao M that has music platform Melon.
An industry source said, "If the two companies that already own a number of popular services offer block chain-based compensatory cryptocurrency, other competitors will have to rush to link their services with cryptocurrency."