South Korean Co-Working Space Operator SparkPlus Turns to Blockchain

According to the report, SparkPlus plans to open co-working centers at properties listed on Kasa Korea’s blockchain platform. The latter’s platform has been designed for the tokenization of real estate beneficiary securities in the form of issuing digital asset-backed securities that have real estate as their collateral.

The partnership will aim to innovate the city’s sharing economy by means of a decentralized platform that reduces the barriers to entering the real estate market by promoting collective and indirect fundraising.

Seoul-based co-working space operator SparkPlus has partnered with blockchain funding platform Kasa Korea, according to a Dec. 17 report from The Investor.

Tokenizing real estate

Kasa Korea was designated an innovative financial services business by South Korea’s securities regulator, the Financial Services Commission, this April.

In addition to the new partnership, Sparkplus has recently raised 30 billion won ($25.3 million) in a Series B funding round, bringing the total funds raised since its fall 2016 launch to 60 billion won ($51.5 million).

Currently, the company runs 12 co-working centers across Seoul, eight of which are located in the affluent districts of Gagnam and Gwanghwamun.

Improving liquidity in the industry

Blockchain has been gaining increasing traction in the commercial real estate sector, with investors coming to recognize the added value, liquidity and innovation that tokenization can bring to managing property rights and trading diverse investment vehicles in the industry.

This has been noted by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of the cryptocurrency trading platform Gemini, who last year pointed to the improved liquidity tokenized securities can bring to the real estate sector in particular.

This fall, blockchain startup Harbor partnered with Seattle-based real estate investment firm iCap Equity to tokenize $100 million in real estate funds using the Ethereum blockchain.

South Korean KB Kookmin Bank Adopts Blockchain to Improve Internal Processes

Major South Korean bank KB Kookmin Bank is planning to integrate blockchain technology into its internal processes.

As local news outlet Korea JoongAng Daily reported on Oct. 7, the institution said blockchain technology could offer a multitude of benefits to the financial industry, including the issuance of digital tokens, funding, custodial services and trading.

Taking a proactive approach toward blockchain adoption

The bank intends to deploy distributed ledger technology to fight money laundering, improve verification services, custodial services and token offerings. Lee Woo-yeol, chief information officer at KB Kookmin, said that the bank should take a proactive approach toward blockchain, adding:

“We see blockchain as a big wave that will disrupt finance in the future. We need to be ready for the moment when different types of assets turn into tokens, although we don’t know when that will be.”

KB Kookmin’s experience with blockchain and cryptocurrency

In June, KB Kookmin signed a memorandum of understanding with blockchain tech firm Atomrigs Lab to jointly develop digital asset management services that use Atomrigs Lab’s technology and KB Kookmin’s internal control infrastructure and data protection technologies.

The bank previously came under regulatory scrutiny from Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) when the regulator criticized KB Kookmin and Nonghyup Bank’s management. The FSS stated that there was a problem with the so-called “suspicious transaction extraction standard of Kookmin Bank’s virtual currency handling business.”

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