Today SK Networks announced a reorganization, including the creation of a blockchain division. The company is 42% owned by SK Group, which also owns SK Telecom (SKT). SK Networks is a major distributor of mobile phone devices sold via SKT’s stores. Other consumer-facing divisions include car rentals, selling domestic appliances, and hotels. It also has an industrial division involved in steel and chemical trading.
As part of the restructuring, SK Networks is establishing a Global Investment Center to find new paths for growth. Hence, the new Blockchain Business division will combine existing businesses with blockchain and invest in the sector.
One obvious application is to use enterprise blockchain to streamline the company’s significant logistics activities, which spans most of its businesses. However, the focus on growth points to more innovative applications. The industrial side could convert the trading of steel and chemicals into digital assets, but that wasn’t something mentioned in the announcement. Demonstrating that raw materials are sustainably sourced is rapidly becoming a requirement rather than revenue generator.
SK Square invests in crypto, metaverse
In October, sister company SK Telecom spun off SK Square, to focus on semiconductors and “future” technologies, with the SK holding company still owning 30%. It listed on Korea’s stock market on Monday and at the same time announced it invested 90 billion won ($76 m) for a 35% stake in Korbit, Korea’s fourth-largest digital asset exchange.
Korbit is planning a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, which SK Square is eyeing for its various metaverse initiatives, including IFLAND. SK Square also spent 8 billion won ($6.8 m) buying 40% of OnMind, which creates life-like three models of people.
While these SK Group companies are accelerating their blockchain activities, SK Telecom has been using the technology for some time, particularly for decentralized identity. That’s something SK Square intends to deploy for authenticating Korbit users.