South Korea's Shinhan Card Develops Blockchain Payments Network

Neil Dennis

South Korea's biggest credit card operator, Shinhan Card, announced on Monday it had been granted a domestic patent and was developing a blockchain-powered payments system.

Shinhan Financial Group, an affiliate of the card company, said it had developed the world's first blockchain service that offers full credit card functionality such as setting spending limits, making monthly installments and paying merchants.

Reported in the Korea Times, a spokesperson for the company said:

Services using those key functions of credit cards will be extended to the blockchain-based system, a notable advancement from the status quo whereby most of the blockchain-based services available are limited to cash wiring or user identification for online transactions.

Patent Submission

The patent, filed with the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS), describes a system for building a blockchain "including a virtual currency generated according to a credit limit of a consumer". Blocks will be updated on the blockchain according to payment details.

This means the company will be able to develop a cardless method of transaction allowing customers to pay for goods using an app on their mobile phones.

Shinhan's spokesperson added:

We obtained the patent about a year and a half after we initiated a feasibility study including technology reviews. We are seeking measures to make the patent valid in European countries, the US, Japan, China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Shinhan Bank Blockchain Ambitions

Affiliate Shinhan Bank has already made progess on blockchain technology, using a distributed ledger platform to speed up the approval process for loans and mortgages.

Instead of submitting identity, payslips and other important documents for manual verification, the bank will use blockchain to verify such items. Last year the bank trialled a cross-border remittances system for its business customers using Ripple's blockchain.

Eliminate the Middlemen

Shinhan Card believes that by using blockchain technology in its payments system it will eventually eliminate the need for other financial intermediaries in the transaction process.

Credit card companies operate with two other counterparties in transactions: a value-added network (VAN), which acts as intermediary between card company and vendors to verify and approve transactions, and a payment gate (PG), a financial services provider which makes the physical payment.

Speaking to the Korea Times, Shinhan Card's spokesman concluded:

We, as the industry leader, will continue to explore ways to implement business models in accordance with the regulations.

Bittrex International Closes Service for More than 30 Countries

  • Bittrex International is closing its service for clients in more than 30 countries, including Venezuela.
  • Users have until Oct. 29 to withdraw their funds from the exchange. 

Cryptoasset exchange Bittrex International will no longer be offering services to clients in more than 30 countries, including Venezuela and Egypt. 

According to the press release, the exchange informed customers residing in the now excluded countries that they would no longer be able to use the services of Bittrex International. 

Users will have until Oct. 29 to remove their funds from the exchange, 

On October 18, Bittrex International informed customers who reside in certain countries (see full list below) that they can no longer use the Bittrex International platform due to regulatory uncertainty. All trading and account access for these impacted customers will be halted on Tuesday, October 29 date at 19:00 UTC/21:00 CEST.

Bittrex International, which is based out of Malta, published a guide for withdrawing funds from the exchange, including a warning that customers must have 3 times the withdrawal fee amount in order to do so. 

Among the countries listed was Venezuela, which caught community members by surprise given the country’s growing adoption for crypto. 

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