Why is Kakao rolling out blockchain business separately from Ground X?
Kakao has Ground X, which has developed Klaytn. But Kakao is pushing its own blockchain business separately from Ground X. Kakao's con is operated by Kakao. It uses the Klaytn side chain, but a spokesperson for Kakao said, their blockchain business “is being worked on separately from Ground X.” Recently, Kakao started providing a mobile driver’s license service inside Kakao Talk. Which blockchain platform will be used for the service hasn't yet been determined, but Klaytn isn't one of the options being considered. #The need to find a widely used blockchain service The blockchain market is in its initial phase without a killer app yet to be introduced. It is still in the process of having to find a service that can captivate the public. Since there isn't yet such a service, there is no service blockchain operators can refer to. In the beginning phase like now, what kind of business item should be devised? #Kakao, verifying hypothesis Developing several hypotheses and actually rolling those services out in the market is one possible solution. An example is setting up a hypothesis that the number of monthly average users will increase by a certain percent if a celebrity-featuring digital offer is issued on Kakao con. Rolling out a service based on that hypothesis would be the next step. Klip Poca, which is being tested by Ground X, probably is based on a hypothesis that if an NFT photo card is issued, celebrity fans from in and outside of Korea will crowd the service. If various services are rolled out based on a number of hypotheses, one of them actually could turn out to be successful. Then that could be used as a key business item, and the company could continuously develop the service. Even if the hypothesis doesn't turn out to be successful, other hypotheses could be derived from them using the data that was gathered when testing those hypotheses. Kakao seems to be taking a similar approach through various means to test hypotheses. #Kakao, “no plan to connect with Klip,” but in the future? Then is Kakao competing with Ground X? The majority opinion is that they are still in the phase of trying out various services, and therefore not in the stage to say that they are competing. Enlarging the market and introducing commercial services need to precede competition. Then what happens after a killer app appears? Kakao con uses Klaytn sidechain. That has led some people to believe that there could be a chance of Klip, a blockchain-based digital asset wallet service from Ground X, being connected with Kakao con once a successful service appears. But a Kakao spokesperson said, “There is no plan to connect with Klip and that isn't even being considered.” The fates of Kakao con and Klaytn can be projected from Naver. Naver took a stance to intensify shopping live by acquiring Jam Live, operated by its Snow subsidiary. The portal site took the move after confirming the possibility of the live commerce market. If Jam Live hadn't been successful, the service would have been scrapped in the hypothesis stage. Kakao con and Klaytn are currently the parent company and a subsidiary, but they won’t likely continue to make double investments on the same business. They could either merge, or one could be scrapped, or even both of them could be scrapped. Kakao hopes to commercialize blockchain services, and the strategy it takes should be carefully watched.