Many cynics say that institutions and other big names in the corporate world aren’t in Bitcoin or crypto assets yet. But, this is quickly being proven not to be the case. In a recent report from local media, it has been claimed that South Korean technology giant may soon integrate digital assets and blockchain into its in-house payments platform.
Samsung Pay May Soon Integrate Digital Assets
Reported by Business Korea last week, Samsung may soon integrate cryptocurrencies in some capacity into its Samsung Pay network, which purportedly sports over ten million active users. Samsung Pay also purportedly constitutes more than 80% of South Korea’s payment market, making it much like the WeChat Pay of the nation.
The outlet chalks this up to the fact that the Seoul-based company recently allocated resources from its blockchain task force to its service business division.
What’s more, the integration of this newfangled technology makes sense. Business Korea explains that if blockchain got thrown into the Samsung Pay mix, it would not only increase the adoption of the service but would make the user experience much more streamlined, especially in terms of fees and transaction times.
Because right now, payment ecosystems like Samsung’s purportedly charge certain fees to “value-added network operators” and “payment gateway operators”. With digital assets, however, intermediaries can be cut out of the equation, thereby making digital payments more of a breeze than before.
The report made no mention of what cryptocurrencies Samsung Pay could support, but it will likely be the firm’s in-house digital asset. For those unaware, sources have recently told CoinDesk Korea that Samsung is working on an iteration of the Ethereum blockchain that will host a company-backed cryptocurrency, fittingly dubbed “Samsung Coin” for now. It has been suggested that this chain will act much like JP Morgan’s Ethereum-esque Quorum.
This latest report from Business Korea comes just weeks after the outlet divulged that one of Samsung’s executives doubled-down on bringing blockchain to handhelds. Per previous reports from Blockonomi, a managing director of Samsung’s Wireless Business Division, Chae Won-Cheol, explained that his team will “lower barriers to new experiences by expanding the number of Galaxy models that support blockchain functions”. It was added that the firm may soon begin development on blockchain-focused applications for identification and “local currencies” through partnerships with local telecom firms, like SK Telecom and KT.
Crypto Adoption Is Happening
Make no mistake, despite what you hear from crypto’s countless cynics, adoption is happening right now. Days after the Samsung news came to light, AT&T revealed that it would be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services through the Atlanta-headquartered BitPay. Per a press release, AT&T is now the first “major U.S. mobile carrier” to provide its millions of customers with the ability to purchase services for cryptocurrency.
Speaking on the matter, Kevin McDorman, vice president of AT&T Communications’ Finance Business Operations unit drawled:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services… We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
This comes after Tor began to accept nine cryptocurrencies, Avnet also joined hands with BitPay, and Flexa revealed that it would be making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies available to spend in the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
And all this adoption is what will drive this budding market forward. As Willy Woo postulated in a recent tweet, whenever common Joes and Jills sell Bitcoin to buy a good or service, “thousands more will see it and consider buying a few thousands of BTC as an investment.” As Woo concludes:
“Everyone keeps debating why accept [Bitcoin] as a currency. TLDR; ‘who cares, it’s the marketing exposure it generates.’ It adds to the Bitcoin SoV borg effect.”