SEOUL -- LG CNS, the information technology wing of South Korea's LG Group, has set a new goal to become a reliable partner in corporate digital transformation, not content with its current status as a system integration software provider. The company is expanding its business scope to a non-fungible token exchange platform that supports various marketing activities.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger and can be bought and sold digitally. In 2018, LG CNS launched a blockchain platform called "Monachain," which provides digital authentication, community token, and supply chain management. The platform targets enterprise clients and can be applied in finance, public, telco and manufacturing industries.
LG CNS uses Monachain to develop an NFT exchange platform and release Token as a Service (TaaS) in November 2022. Companies will be allowed to produce and issue NFTs on Monachain at low costs as it is charged depending on the time of service use. The initial target will be small and medium companies that feel a great strain on time and money to come up with their own solutions.
"Next year, we will first target the distribution sector, which is experiencing the rapid issuance of NFTs, and then expand the scope to the financial sector," Yoon Chang-deuk, head of LG CNS' blockchain technology department, said in an interview with Aju Business Daily.
In May 2022, LG CNS partnered with Plateer, an e-commerce solution company in South Korea, for the launch of TaaS by adding Plateer's e-commerce and marketing solutions to Monachain to help corporate customers easily implement NFT marketplaces. "We are also considering providing services not only to domestic but also to overseas regions," said Yoon.
Yoon said that an application program interface (API) would help MZ generations buy and use NFTs while enjoying them on a collective virtual shared space created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space.
Various South Korean companies have actively adopted metaverse platforms to bridge the gap between online and offline spaces. LG CNS has invested in establishing Bithumb Meta, the metaverse subsidiary of Bithumb, a major cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, which was launched in February 2022 to develop social metaverse platforms.
South Korea's virtual currency market has been dogged by fraud, cyberattacks and other illegal activities. As a result, public skepticism lingers over blockchain businesses and NFT, but Yoon voiced optimism, referring to NFT's positive role in proving personal identity.
"NFT has to be purchased through cryptocurrency through the mainnet, so the value of NFT seems to change depending on the market price of cryptocurrencies. However, the NFT ecosystem is progressing," Yoon said. "NFTs are also used as a means of proving personal identity, not just buying and selling. This is why even if NFT is linked to cryptocurrency, it cannot be viewed negatively."
An NFT ecosystem has been created "to some extent" in South Korea, Yoon said, presenting his goal to provide a digital space in which "trust and connection" between users are guaranteed. "This is because information must be smoothly shared between users on the premise that personal information is protected."
For digital transformation, Yoon hopes to become a digital growth partner and provide a service that combines technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data analysis, network, and cloud, based on blockchain. "Just because you're good at only one blockchain field, you can't provide customers with the core value of digital transformation. We will help corporate customers achieve the digital transformation they really want."
In 2020, LG CNS joined hands with Evernym, a software company that develops decentralized, self-sovereign identity applications, to push for the development of ID cards that work everywhere in the world, using decentralized identity (DID), which is a blockchain-based encrypted identifier that normally uses public keys to establish secure communication channels.
LG CNS and Evernym cooperate in establishing international standards at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and implementing a new authentication system with blockchain technology. Evernym offers a platform that enables organizations and governments to issue, accept, and verify credentials that operate like a digital passport.
(This story is based on a Korean-language interview conducted by Aju Business Daily reporter Choi Eun-jong)
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