Daesik Kim, the founder and former CEO of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform Bithumb, has joined Bezant, a payment protocol and cryptocurrency project, as Chief Cryptocurrency Officer.

The Bezant decentralized payment protocol aims to provide fast, secure, and reliable payment solutions for the digital content and e-commerce sectors. Kim said the startup will be targeting Southeast Asia’s large population of unbanked.

“Digital entertainment and e-commerce are expanding faster in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, more so than in the US and China over the next four years,” he said. “Developed markets are dominated by a few incumbents that charge high commission fees, offering limited payment options, which are plagued by high exchange fees, bank charges, and payment delays.”

“Bezant aims to disrupt digital payments and content distribution by applying blockchain and cryptocurrency to eliminate these barriers for buyers and sellers. 

“The Bezant protocol will minimize transaction fees, provide a decentralized reward mechanism for sellers to build customer loyalty, establish a transparent rating system on sellers, and enable customers to make borderless payments using their local method.”

Bezant will utilize a private blockchain network, enabling fluid payments and making micro-transactions transparent and cost-efficient.

Holders of the network’s native Bezant token (BEZ) will be able to make purchases on Jehmi, a digital content distribution platform. BEZ will also be used to pay content creators on Jehmi.

Alongside Kim, the Bezant team includes product and software engineers from companies such as Ebay, Naver and Kakao Corp., the company behind South Korea’s most popular chat app Kakao Talk.

The Bezant Foundation, which is based in Singapore, has already raised US$6.28 million in a private token sale to fund the development of its platform. It is targeting a total ICO of US$40 million.

Bithumb is South Korean’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform with a daily trading volume of US$6 billion. The platform is operated by BTC Korea.com which currently employs about 450 workers. The company plans to hire an additional 400 full-time employees by the end of the year, according to the Investor.

Internet companies in South Korea have been actively integrating blockchain technology into their businesses. Kakao is already using blockchain technology for identity verification in Kakao Pay, the company’s mobile payment subsidiary. The giant mobile service company also owns a roughly 20% stake in local fintech startup Dunamu, which operates one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Kakao said that the firm is planning to launch a subsidiary dedicated to blockchain.

Naver Corporation, South Korea’s largest Internet company and the country’s top search engine, established in January 2018 Line Financial, an affiliate of financial services based on crypto tokens in Japan, through its subsidiary Line Corp.

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