On Tuesday, July 24, South Korean telecom giant KT Corporation launched the first commercial blockchain-based network in the world. KT Corp is the second-largest mobile carrier in South Korea and will be using the blockchain technology to streamline several of its processes like energy trading, data roaming and ID verification.
As reported by the local publication The Korea Bizwire, KT Corp. will be launching its blockchain-enabled data roaming services in cooperation with other global telecom players, similar to that of Japan’s NTT Docomo Inc. Currently, KT’s blockchain network can handle 2500 transactions per second (TPS). The company said that it plans to increase this capacity to 10000 TPS by the end of this year and 1,00,000 TPS by the end of 2019. These high-speed transactions of the data blocks using the blockchain network will give the users an absolutely uninterrupted data services while on roaming.
More importantly, the blockchain network is expected to provide additional security from hackers. This is because users will log onto the blockchain network using the blockchain ID instead of IP address credentials like username and login password. This helps to prevent the risk of password hacking and ID theft while making the unnecessary process of identity verification redundant.
The telecom giant further plans to penetrate its business in the emerging markets while bringing the blockchain technology to other platforms like the fifth-generation (5G) network and artificial intelligence. Seo Young-il, head of the KT Blockchain Center at KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology, told the Korea Herald:
“The whole point of applying blockchain to networks is to address security and transaction issues by making the current networks more secure and trusted.”
Young-il also said that the blockchain-based commercial network developed by KT Corp. will overcome the limitations of both private and public blockchain networks while making the existing network more secure and transparent. The company officials said that the Telecom giant has developed its own engine which can process multiple blocks simultaneously. Additionally, the mobile wireless carrier will also be using its currently used high-performance servers to boost operations.
This announcement comes at a time when South Korea has been recently taking positive initiatives to boost the growth of crypto and blockchain industry in the country. Last week, the country’s primary financial regulator – The Financial Services Commission (FSC) created a different task force called the Financial Innovation Bureau that will look after all the developments taking place in the country’s burgeoning cryptocurrency sector. The official press release from FSC reads:
“The FSC plans a major organizational reshuffle to better protect financial consumers and proactively respond to financial innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. The new Financial Innovation Bureau will also be tasked with policy initiatives for financial innovation, such as innovating financial services using fintech or big data, and responses to new developments and challenges such as cryptocurrencies.”
On the other hand, the Korean Blockchain Association (KBA) has been working with the country’s regulatory body to ensure that blockchain businesses can contribute towards the country’s economy while still staying under the purview of the regulatory authorities.