ICON, E-Commerce Giant SK Planet To Revamp Market Solutions with Blockchain

The partnership includes using the distributed ledger technology of ICON (ICX) cryptocurrency for stimulating the Korean economy.

ICON Foundation, the body that develops the ICX virtual coin, has joined forces with SK Planet, the e-commerce subsidiary of Korean SK Telecom, for developing blockchain marketing solutions, ICON said on Thursday.

The ICON Foundation and SK Planet plan to upgrade SK online and offline services by linking the company’s existing marketing products with ICX blockchain. The deal covers only Korea as SK Planet currently also has operations in the United States, China, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.               

“[…] the ICON team will work with SK Planet to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to vitalize the local economy. To that end, we will foster a healthy blockchain industry through support of blockchain developers and cooperation with academia,” ICON Foundation explained in the press release.

SK Planet is one of the leading information technology and services companies in South Korea with more than 35 million clients. Launched as a separate subsidiary of SK Telecom in 2011, the firm offers e-commerce products and digital marketing including online-to-offline (O2O) solutions. The SK Planet main business focus is the loyalty programs that allow customers to earn points from buying goods and services and also redeem these points for discounts or as an equivalent of money.

ICON and SK Planet did not disclose any additional information, but one possible implementation is the tokenization of loyalty services with blockchain. Earlier this year, Japan’s multinational company Fujitsu created a DLT-based system for the tokenization of tourist promotions as a way to reduce costs and bring more transparency.

JM Park, the head of marketing platform division at SK Planet explained the company bet on DLT:

“Blockchain appears to be one of the key technologies that will promote market transformation in existing industry for the medium and long term.”

Despite the fact that the memorandum of understanding signed between ICON and SK Planet covers only the technology behind ICX, the coin leaped nearly 10% 24 hours after the deal announcement. ICON changed hands at $0.67 for one ICX, which was a 9.87% increase on a daily basis as at 16:30 UTC on Friday. The coin clocked more than $25.5 million in trading volume for the last day and ranks 31 in the market capitalization list with $261 million in value.

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