South Korea’s largest mobile carrier releases crypto wallet

abdelaziz Fathi

Team Blackbird, a Korean crypto services company operating the blockchain data and analytics platform CryptoQuant, has partnered with South Korea’s largest mobile phone company, SK Telecom (SKT), to launch a crypto wallet.

The T wallet, the newly introduced product, will offer users a blockchain-based mobile application to store tokens. It will also provide access to CryptoQuant’s on-chain analysis tools, which could aid users in their market activities.

Jong Seung Kim, the leader of SKT’s Web3 business team hopes that the wallet would contribute to the growth of the crypto market in South Korea, which is known for its high trading volumes and local interest.

CryptoQuant is a data and research firm that provides on-chain data analysis services to institutional clients worldwide. The company has established exclusive partnerships with global entities such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) and Moody’s credit rating agency to provide on-chain data and research on their terminals.

SK Telecom’s venture into the digital wallet arena could have profound implications for South Korea’s digital landscape. The telecom heavyweight boasts a massive user base, with nearly 30 million South Koreans connected as of December 2021, translating to a staggering 58% of the country’s populace. This move, especially against the backdrop of the company’s 2020 launch of a blockchain-based digital certificate wallet amidst the pandemic, could further bolster the adoption and popularity of digital asset tech in South Korea.

The South Korean telecommunications titan also signed a partnership with AhnLab Blockchain Company and Atomix Lab, marking its foray into the burgeoning digital asset landscape.

This digital wallet offers a trio of functionalities: it allows users to store, transfer, and even receive diverse digital assets including cryptos, NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and the intriguing ‘Soulbound tokens (SBTs)’. Notably, these SBTs are permanent, non-transferable NFTs, designed primarily to validate certificates and identifications. SK Telecom envisions these tokens as digital validators for a range of credentials such as memberships and digital asset holdings.

We reported in September about KEB Hana Bank, one of South Korea’s largest banks, entering the digital asset custody business through a strategic partnership with BitGo, a wallet infrastructure provider and digital asset custodian.

This collaboration aims to establish digital asset custody services in South Korea, leveraging BitGo’s expertise in custody solutions and Hana Bank’s financial services and compliance knowledge.

Hana Bank is a South Korean financial conglomerate and commercial bank that operates a network of 111 branches and holds local banking assets of nearly $10 billion with equity totaling $490 million.

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