Ground X is the blockchain subsidiary of the leading South Korean Internet company, Kakao. Ground X aims to tap new and innovative blockchain technologies that the mainstream market can adopt. They created a scalable Blockchain platform called Klaytn and are looking to create more DApps to become the global leader in the Blockchain industry. What separates Klaytn from other DApps is that it does away with the hassle of wallets, private keys, and cryptograph addresses to bring in mass adoption. 

Kakao’s Blockchain Arm – Ground X

Kakao understands that Blockchain is the future. Kakao Talk has 50 million monthly users. Therefore, it makes sense that they would want them to transact with each other. This is why they created Ground X. This does not mean Kakao is looking to put their Kakao Chat on the blockchain but rather create a new platform on the Blockchain.

Ground X made headlines in 2021 for securing the bid to develop the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Korea. They are currently working with the central bank of Korea to create a secure, transparent, and efficient payment system for the citizens of Korea. They aim to revolutionize the payment industry in Korea and provide users with a seamless and secure payment experience.

The Need for CBDC in Korea

The payment industry in Korea has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the rise of digital payment systems and the decline in the use of physical cash. However, these payment systems are still largely fragmented, and there is a need for a unified payment system that is secure, transparent, and efficient.

The development of CBDC in Korea will provide users with a single payment system that is fast, secure, and easy to use. It will also reduce the cost of handling physical cash and improve the efficiency of the payment system.

CBDC offers several benefits to users, including:

  1. Security: CBDC transactions are secure and tamper-proof, making them more secure than traditional payment systems.

  2. Transparency: CBDC transactions are transparent, meaning users can see where their money is going and how it is used.

  3. Efficiency: CBDC transactions are faster and more efficient than traditional payment systems, reducing the time and cost of transactions.

  4. Inclusivity: CBDC provides a more inclusive payment system, allowing users who do not have access to traditional banking systems to participate in the digital economy.

Ground X Global Partnerships

Ground X and Orbs

Ground X has been active in gathering strategic partners not just in Korea but around the world. They partnered with Israel’s Blockchain startup Orbs and, most recently, with ConsenSys (Blockchain software development company) for the CBDC project with the Bank of Korea. 

The continued success of Ground X comes as South Korean lawmakers are still working on regulations when it comes to cryptocurrencies in Korea. 

Domestic Partnerships

Woori Financial Group runs Woori Bank, which is one of the largest banks in South Korea.  Woori will work together with Ground X to develop blockchain financial services.  It is rumored that the blockchain financial services will be applied to Woori Card, a credit card subsidiary of Woori Financial Group.  It will not involve the use of cryptocurrencies.  In addition, Ground X has teamed up with Shinhan Bank and Hexlant to develop a private key management system. 

Woori Bank has been an aggressive bank in Korea regarding blockchain-related development. They are considered second behind Shinhan bank in pursuing blockchain initiatives.  In 2018, Woori made the news for testing Ripple for their overseas remittances.  In addition, they have further looked into the personal identification functions the blockchain will provide.  

Ground X has also partnered with LG CNS to expand its Blockchain-related businesses. LG CNS launched its own private Blockchain platform called Monachain. It was applied to Korea Minting, Security Printing, and Chak, a local gift voucher service. In addition, Monachain was applied to the LG Uplus system to reimburse users for damaged or lost mobile phones. They have also partnered with SK Group to develop a blockchain-based donation platform.  

Ground X Raised $180 Million Through two ICO Rounds.

Ground X has raised $90 Million from its first private token sale. They raised an additional $90, totaling $180 Million from two ICO rounds. The ultimate goal is integrating future Blockchain-based services with Kakao’s existing internet offerings. This is why Ground X developed Klaytn. Therefore, their goal is to create a global token economy ultimately. Currently, Kakao only operates in Korea, but because of Blockchain technology, they can potentially expand into the worldwide market. 

Ground X Blockchain Master’s Course on Smart Contracts and Decentralized Apps 

Ground X is giving back to the Blockchain community in Korea by offering free courses at Hanyang University. The Blockchain Master’s courses are on smart contracts and decentralized apps. The aim of Ground X and Hanyang University is for the general development of Blockchain technology. Hanyang University signed an MOU with Ground X in late 2018 to create education and joint researches that nurture future Blockchain developers. 

The first course ran for 15 weeks starting in September 2019. The topics covered were basic concepts regarding Blockchain, the structure of Blockchain, and the motion fundamentals of Ground X’s self-developed platform Klaytn—as well as consensus mechanisms and smart contracts. Furthermore, the course offered Blockchain app training based on real-life examples and how to improve the UI/UX of Blockchain services. The courses are open to any student or developers interested in Blockchain technology, especially in Blockchain app development. In addition, Ground X has its own YouTube Channel that offers videos regarding Blockchain technology. 

Verifying and Storing Unlisted Investments as NFTs

Ground X NFTs

NFTs in Korea are getting a lot of attention these days. Ground X is also taking action to help startups raise more capital. They now store and verify unlisted investments as NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). Unlisted investments are shared by startups that have not yet had their initial public offering (IPO). Therefore foreign investors can now buy and trade over-the-counter (OTC) shares in South Korea, which will be taxed on capital gains. Ground X has partnered with the equity management platform QuotaBook and trading platform Angel League to create the NFT platform. The information related to unlisted shares will be recorded on Klaytn. The record of the share will then be minted as an NFT and offered to shareholders as a digital card through the digital wallet Klip.