Cyworld was once the most popular social media site in South Korea. Now its proverbial doors are closed as the platform shut down on October 1, The Korea Times reported. This leaves a large number of clients wondering what will happen with the cryptocurrency they purchased from the social media giant.
On October 13, the social media platform became completely inaccessible to customers, regardless of whether they were trying to access the website or the mobile application. Company officials, including CEO Jeon Jae-wan, have not been available for comment, and it appears that the company may be completely shut down at this point.
Cyworld has been in trouble for some time now. In July, Jeon issued a statement on his own account where he wrote, “Everyone regarded my sincerity to revamp the platform as a reckless challenge or money spinner… I guess it is time to stop operating the platform.”
Since it appears that Cyworld is now defunct, this will be the second company that Jeon has started that went under. Freechal also went out of business, another platform started by the CEO.
The shutdown of the platform has left a lot of angry customers in its wake. With the platform inaccessible, there are many who have lost files they can no longer access. Wrote one community member, “I am about to lose my diaries, photos and videos that I stored in Cyworld for the past 10 years. Maybe it is my fault for not making a backup because everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the company stopped the service.”
This is not the biggest blow, however. There is a large group of investors who are likely to lose a total of at least one billion won. In addition, 24 million of the crypto assets of Cyworld, the Clink, were sold at KRW26 per unit. There are KRW480 million that have been purchased, but that looks to be a complete loss as well.
Cyworld originally launched in 1999 and reached the peak of its popularity in the mid 2000s when it had over 32 million users. However, the rise of Twitter and Facebook greatly diminished the total number of users, as the platform battled to stay afloat.
The sale of digital coins was the be a real boon for the company, not only providing it with a great source of revenue, but also ensuring it has loyal customers who would stay with the platform because of the investment. Now it appears that those customers were simply taken for a ride.
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