Kyobo Life, one of the largest insurance providers in the country, was selected by the South Korean government as the major operator of its Blockchain project. Kyobo is expected to facilitate tests and pilot experiments with the South Korean government’s Blockchain platform.
According to local publications including Business Korea, Kyobo Life was contracted by the country’s National Information Society Agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. The insurance company emphasized that its developers and researchers will particularly focus on the development and testing of Blockchain-based Internet of Things (IoT) systems.
Along with Kyobo Life, other emerging South Korean Blockchain and fintech startups including D. Lemon, The Loop and One were contracted by the Ministry of Science to collaborate with the research and development team of Kyobo. Although the investment was not disclosed, Business Korea confirmed with Kyobo that all of the companies involved will be funded by the Ministry of Science until the project is completed.
Kim Wook, a senior managing director of digital innovation at Kyobo Life, announced:
"This is the first case where the insurance industry is fully connected with fintech and introduces a new service. If the service is commercialized in the future, we will be able to provide a better service by utilizing various fintech technologies."
The Kyobo Life Consortium, which includes the above mentioned startups, will utilize the base Blockchain codebase developed by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and implement it to a system specifically designed for insurance companies and healthcare corporations. The Consortium revealed that the organization’s project will focus on automating small amounts of insurance payments to healthcare.
“The Kyobo Life Consortium will conclude an agreement with major hospitals in the Seoul metropolitan area and conduct a pilot project targeting small amounts of insurance money under 300,000 won ($270) by the end of this year. After a stabilization phase in the future, Kyobo Life plans to expand its services to all Kyobo Life customers across the nation,” Business Korea reported.
South Korea’s rising interest toward Blockchain and Ethereum
As seen in the initiative of the South Korean government and its agencies, both the public and the private sectors of South Korea are focusing on the development of Blockchain and research of emerging technologies such as Ethereum.
In fact, South Korea used to operate the second largest Ethereum exchange market behind the US. However, the Chinese Blockchain and cryptocurrency industries’ adoption of Ethereum allowed China to overtake South Korea in terms of trading volume and market share. Currently, the Chinese Ethereum exchange market accounts for 10.5 percent of the global exchange market.
In March, a South Korean province also successfully utilized Blockchain technology to process voting for its residents. At the time, Nam Kyung Pil of the Gyeonggi-do province announced:
“Blockchains will change the world within a few years just as smartphones did. We can complement the limits of representative democracy with some direct democracy systems by using Blockchains, the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”