A Wave of Blockchain-Based Unlisted Stock Platforms is Hitting Korea

The unlisted stock trading platforms could act as a bolster to South Korea's startup ecosystem.

Following a successful government pilot project and financial regulation sandbox, South Korea’s financial sector is seeing an influx of blockchain-powered unlisted stock trading plaftorms, according to local news source Business Korea. These platforms could offer a boost to South Korea’s startup ecosystem

“Based on the government’s pilot project and a financial regulation sandbox, the financial sector including KOSCOM (Korea Securities Computing Corporation) and blockchain companies is launching services one after another,” the report said.

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So far, KOSCOM’s blockchain-based unlisted stock market–called “Be My Unicorn“–is the only one that’s live; however, two other companies–Dunamu and PSX–will launch similar platforms in September and February of 2021, respectively, according to individuals close to the matter.

PSX’s unlisted stock trading platform is being built in partnership with Shinhan Financial Investment, while Dunamu’s is being built with Samsung Securities. The creation of both platforms is reportedly being monitored through the country’s financial regulation sandbox.

Unlisted stock trading platforms “may lead to the promotion of investment in startups.”

According to the report, the reason that these platforms could be particularly important to South Korea’s startup ecosystem is that the increased safety that these platforms offer “may lead to the promotion of investment in startups.”

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For example, “Through the ‘Be My Unicorn’ platform, investors will be able to trade the unlisted stocks from professional investors such as accelerators, and stocks from venture company employees,” KOSCOM said.

This is because KOSCOM’s platform–and the others, when they will be launched–reportedly reduces the burdens of managing shareholder lists of small and medium-sized companies and venture startups; they also increase the trading efficiency of investors.

KOSCOM is also planning on launching ‘Initial,’ a blockchain-based mobile electronic authentication (decentralized identification (DID)) service, in May. With Initial, it will be possible to use simple logins and electronic contracts in conjunction with the ‘Be My Unicorn’ platform.

On PSX’s platform, which is now in its pilot stage, the stocks of a number of well-known unlisted startups has begun, including Market Curly, Musinsa, Vuno, Krafton (Bluehole), Ridi Books, Yanolja, and Blocko.

Meanwhile, PSX is receiving the stocks of unlisted startups from angel investors, accelerators, and stock options holders; Shinhan Financial Investment is supporting PSX with user account openings and the trading system for stable services of PSX.

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