South Korean Telecoms Giant KT Is Reportedly Developing a Local Cryptocurrency

Francisco Memoria

The KT Corporation, a South Korean telecommunications giant, has reportedly been selected to develop a cryptocurrency that’s set to be used in the city of Gimpo in the country, in a test that could see it expand to other local governments.

According to ZDNet Korea, the cryptocurrency will be introduced in April of this year, after a pilot project is run next month. The cryptocurrency, called “K token,” is set to see 11 billion won ($9.7 million) worth of it get issued, and will be usable with local merchants.

The news outlet points out that to pay using the K token, uses will have to scan QR codes, and that merchants who accept payments in the cryptocurrency will be able to request a conversion to fiat that’ll be transferred to their bank accounts, without extra fees.

The head of the blockchain center and KT’s senior vice president Yeong-il Seo was quoted as saying (roughly translated):

Based on the differentiated technology and business competitiveness of the KT blockchain local currency platform, we will successfully carry out [a] local currency business in Gimpo City. The introduction of local currency will contribute to the revitalization of the regional economy.

The company is reportedly planning to expand its cryptocurrency project to other local governments that agree to it, based on its performance in Gimpo. Notably, the KT Corporation has last year ventured into the blockchain sector, as it launched a distributed ledger network that was to be applied to various areas, including ID verification, energy trading, and data roaming.

The move could be seen as a step forward for South Korea, a country that has banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), and that has revealed it’s planning on taxing the fundraising practice if it becomes legal again, as well as cryptocurrencies.

In the country, cryptocurrency exchanges are believed to be vulnerable to hacks, according to a report. This, as only some of the nation’s cryptoasset trading platforms cleared the government’s security checks.

Those Banned From Facebook May Not Be Able to Use Its Cryptocurrency Libra

Facebook’s two days of congressional hearings on the social media giant’s cryptocurrency ambitions seemingly revealed that those who have been banned from Facebook may not have access to Libra.

During the congressional hearing Facebook had to answer some tough questions, and one of them came from Representative Sean Duffy, which asked the company’s cryptocurrency head, David Marcus, who’ll have access to Libra.

The Congressman initially asked Marcus who could use the cryptocurrency, to which Calibra’s CEO answered: “anyone that can open a Calibra account, that can go through KYC [know-your-customer checks] in countries where we can operate.”

Duffy then referenced two individuals banned from Facebook for violating its community guidelines, Louis Farrakhan and Milo Yiannopoulo, and asked whether they’ll be able to use the social media giant’s cryptocurrency.

Marcus ended up replying he doesn’t “know yet,” after seeing Duffy hold a $20 bill and ask hin who can use it. His point was that cash doesn’t discriminate, and that anyone who can hold it can use it.

While throughout the hearing Marcus tried to point out the company will follow appropriate regulations and comply with lawmakers, Duffy responded that a proper answer would be “as long as you abide by the law, you can use Libra.” The fact he didn’t get this answer, Duffy said, gave him “great pause.”

Speaking to The Daily Beast Elka Looks, a Facebook spokeswoman, clarified Marcus addressed the Congressman’s concerns later on in the hearing. She stated:

For Libra, anyone who is engaging in lawful activity will be able to transact on the network. Facebook will have no say. For Calibra, there is no policy in place yet, but we will share it when it is closer to being finalized.

The news outlet adds that Calibra, Facebook’s wallet to send, receive, and hold Libra, doesn’t yet have final terms of service or a privacy policy. All of this means that those who’ve been banned on Facebook may not have access to its cryptocurrency.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Congressman Warren Davidson implied during the hearings Facebook’s crypto is a ‘shitcoin’ as it doesn’t have some of the properties bitcoin has. The Congressman made it clear bitcoin has no central authority that can censor transactions or dilute its value, while Libra has the Libbra Association.