South Korean consumer electronics giant LG Electronics is venturing into the blockchain and digital assets sector. The company announced the new business areas recently, but pointed out that it has not made any concrete move on either.
The new business direction was approved during a shareholders’ meeting held last week. LG outlined that among its new objectives as it redefines its business would be “the development and selling of blockchain-based software” and “the sale and brokerage of cryptocurrency,” with the latter being hailed as an intent to launch a digital currency exchange.
“Nothing has been decided yet,” the spokesperson said, “We just mentioned business areas in a broad manner.”
LG is not new to the industry. In January, it announced that it would launch a line of smart TVs capable of buying and displaying NFTs. Notably, LG announced the move just a day after Samsung made a similar revelation at the Consumer Electronics Show. Earlier this month, LG gave an update on its initiative, revealing it had partnered with Ground X, a Kakao-owned blockchain firm, to introduce a line of NFT-capable TVs.
The move into smart TVs on which users can purchase NFTs have been questioned by many, with NFT enthusiasts dismissing it as unnecessary.
“I don’t really see a point in there being an NFT trading platform on my TV. When it is still inconvenient to surf the internet on what you call a Smart television, I don’t think it will be a very pleasant experience buying an NFT on TV,” one Korean NFT investor observed.
Thats cool, but I just don’t see what their strategy is, I mean if you’re out and about and you find an NFT you want you’re first instinct probably isn’t the TV because a TV isn’t mobile. I only see this as Samsung’s way of cashing in.
— 𝙆𝙉𝙉𝙔 ✦ (@0xKNNY) January 3, 2022
Should LG venture into the digital asset exchange, it will face stiff competition from Korea’s dominant Big Four exchanges.
Upbit, owned by fintech giant Dunamu, is the market leader, with some estimating that it controls up to 80% of the market share as Coinone, Bithumb, and Korbit control most of what’s left. These exchanges have continued to enjoy economies of scale that allow them to easily comply with new regulations and offer the best services, effectively leading to the shutdown of most small exchanges.
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