It is commonly known, that Koreans have always been keen on technology. South Korea is the birthplace of Cyworld, an early social media platform that was one of the first to sell virtual goods, as well as KakaoTalk, a messaging application that rapidly became ubiquitous. In addition, the country has always enthusiastically promoted all things related to blockchain.
To really put things in perspective, however, according to a report released in June by the US-based Pew Research Center, Korea was officially ranked number one globally in terms of smartphone ownership and Internet usage, with nine in ten Korean adults using the Internet and owning a smartphone. Boasting a smartphone ownership rate of 94% and the highest Internet penetration rate of 96%, Korea is simply the most wired country in the world.
Taking all this into account, it’s perhaps unsurprising that third-generation blockchain company Skycoin is looking to break into the Korean market, as it was announced in Shanghai, this week.
Skycoin bills itself as a ‘high-performance blockchain project for a new decentralized networking protocol’, and more succinctly as ‘the most advanced blockchain platform in the world’. Skycoin was built by early contributors to both Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the developers claim it is 100% secure, infinitely scalable and ISP-independent, with an incentivized ecosystem.
If Bitcoin was blockchain 1.0 and Ethereum blockchain 2.0, according to its creators, Skycoin is blockchain 3.0 – the next level in decentralization – and it will overhaul the Internet with a faster, more secure version. The platform takes the benefits of Bitcoin and Ethereum and combines and improves them, while tackling issues such as speed, centralization and scalability.
Skycoin’s ecosystem is made up of four main components: Skycoin, Skywire, Obelisk and Fiber. Skycoin is the platform’s native cryptocurrency creating Coin Hours for network bandwidth. Skywire is a decentralized wireless mesh network facilitating secure, fast Web 3.0. Obelisk is the new consensus algorithm distributing ‘web of trust’. And, finally, Fiber is an infinitely scalable, highly customizable parallel network of blockchains.
Skycoin is also getting involved in hardware, with its hardware wallet and Skyminer telecom equipment currently in development.
Skycoin deals with scalability problems via Fiber, which implements parallel blockchains and means that applications can be fully customized. Unusually, the more projects that Fiber hosts, the stronger the Skycoin ecosystem becomes. According to publicity material, Skycoin’s general purpose programming language, CX fixes the security issues that plague Ethereum, and Skywire allows users to benefit from financial incentives, including making bandwidth available for other projects.
South Korea consistently ranks first in the Bloomberg innovation index, so it’s unsurprising that the country has embraced blockchain technology. In fact, some of Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges are backed by the country’s major conglomerates, or chaebols, and the government has put in place classification standards and regulatory frameworks.
It is clear that Korea’s technological status is boosting the adoption of decentralized systems. The increasing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies has a parallel in the increasing presence of apps such as KakaoTalk. Skycoin is aiming to hone the positive aspects of Ethereum while building a secure, incentivized platform that will raise the profile of blockchain in Asia.
If Skycoin is able to make good on its grand claims regarding Web 3.0 and capitalize on Korea’s undisputed connection to technology and the ever-growing blockchain universe, it could find itself in a strong position for the future, not just in Korea, but in the rest of Asia and the wider world – a situation that Skycoin’s creators would no doubt be very happy with.