Per the release, Chai will also offer low transaction fees to merchants and ongoing 5% to 10% discounts to shoppers thanks to seigniorage resulting from growth in Terra’s stablecoin economy. The announcement also claims that the app “is integrated with seven mainstream e-commerce platforms, with its user base exceeding 450,000.”

According to an Oct. 7 news release shared with Cointelegraph by blockchain startup Terra, Chai – which operates on the Terra blockchain – will now be accepted as a means of payment at the major convenience store chain.

Mobile payments app Chai is launching mobile blockchain-based payments at 13,500 CU convenience stores in South Korea.

App support will be added at CU by the end of 2019 following a partnership between Chai and convenience store operator BGF Retail, which owns the stores in question.

Lastly, the company claims to have landed a partnership with BC Card (reportedly South Korea’s largest payment processor) to launch a prepaid debit card by early 2020.

As Cointelegraph reported in August, Terra also added South Korean music streaming platform Bugs to its e-commerce alliance and business-to-business fashion platform Sinsang Market.

Bitcoin acceptance at French retailers

Cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted in stores worldwide as retailers partner with cryptocurrency firms to expand payment options for customers.
In September, Cointelegraph reported that support for Bitcoin payments will launch at over 25,000 sales points for 30 French retailers following a partnership between point-of-sale technology provider Global POS and EasyWallet application and payments platform Easy2Play.

Major South Korean Mobile Carrier Launches Blockchain Project

Union Mobile, the fourth-largest mobile carrier in South Korea, announced the launch of its blockchain project called ELYNET.

Using blockchain to make communication more efficient

On Sept. 11, Union Mobile announced that ELYNET aims to use blockchain technology to make telecommunications more efficient for those users who rely on a single carrier for telecom service.

ELYNET will purportedly allow users to freely use data communication services without roaming fees and contracts. Union Mobile’s CEO Seyong Ro explained that the platform will launch with an accompanying token, stating:

“This will help us to realize our business. When users connect to the communications network through ELYNET’s own operating system, they can purchase data through ELyX, a token used in ELYNET’s ecosystem, and freely enjoy mobile data communication anywhere in the world without roaming fees or contracts.”

Korean electronic giants developing blockchain phones

Cointelegraph recently reported that South Korean electronics giant LG is working with blockchain developers to launch a rival to Samsung’s Klaytn blockchain smartphone. The news came a week after reports that Korean messaging service Kakao was preparing to roll out blockchain capabilities on the Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy Note 10 smartphone.

An industry insider said LG had already held discussions with local decentralized application developers and had worked out a use case for its future product. It remains unknown whether LG’s future offering will become internationally available. The Klaytn phone will only be accessible on the domestic South Korean market.
Major South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Launches R&D Center

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has established its own research and development (R&D) center.

According to an announcement on Jan. 6, the initiative makes Bithumb the first company with a blockchain and cryptocurrency research center in South Korea. Bithumb expressed high hopes for the research center’s impact on the company:

“Bithumb will become a leading company in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem by strengthening its own R&D capabilities.”

The center’s purpose

The new R&D center is going to employ around 30 people and will start its activities this month. Bithumb’s research team will study system architecture design to strengthen public blockchain transaction analysis and cryptocurrency private key security.

The architecture research team will focus on high-performance transaction matching systems that can respond to large simultaneous orders. Bithumb also plans to analyze blockchains to isolate cryptocurrency trading transactions and develop a system for user address generation that allows for deposits and withdrawals on its exchange.

The exchange plans to develop security enhancement technologies related to encryption, separation of functions and implementation of verification systems that allow for the safe storage and use of private keys. Bithumb’s research team will also work on high-availability and high-performance data exchange between blockchains and databases.

Additionally, the staff has been tasked with building an application programming interface for its cryptocurrency trading platform and upgrading its matching engine.

Increasing blockchain research spending

As blockchain and cryptocurrency increasingly show potential beyond the initial hype, more and more funds are being poured into relevant research.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of December, Tencent, the operator of Chinese social media app WeChat, is planning to create a digital currency research group for the further advancement of blockchain technology research projects.

Furthermore, Chinese state-run publication Xinhua forecasted that the nation’s spending on blockchain technology will exceed $2 billion in 2023. A report published in September 2019 by market research firm Global Market Insights suggests that the global blockchain technology market is set to surpass $16 billion by 2024.

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