Michiel Mulders


Samsung and its influence in the Korean ICO landscape: Muzika, Ubcoin, and Nexledger


As one of the most high-tech countries in the world, Korea is developing and implementing blockchain technology at an incredible pace, meaning its regulators have to speed up in order to stay up to date with this global trend.

Korea has set up a special force to research and develop policies for the management of the cryptocurrency market. A spokesman for the force said that Korea may follow a blockchain regulatory roadmap similar to the United States and Japan, which allows for cryptocurrency-related activities within the framework of management. (1)

Korea, despite being known as one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading countries, is facing a lot of legal hurdles. According to the documents, financial institutions will have to comply with some strict rules to ensure that they can not abuse the potential of this market and minimize the risk of money laundering (2).

On the other side, it’s nice to see that large Korean companies are ready to support the ICO space — Kakao, Naver, and Samsung. Let’s talk about the Samsung giant.

Samsung entering the blockchain space

Samsung SDS, the IT subsidiary of electronics giant Samsung has launched Nexledger, its blockchain platform for enterprises and business, alongside blockchain-based biometric ID and payment services back in 2017.

The commercial launch of Nexledger coincides with Samsung’s Nexsign, a biometric authentication solution based on the Nexledger platform. According to Blockchain News, biometric data is encrypted and recorded on the company’s blockchain platform, enabling users to gain access to a multitude of financial services with a single ID authentication. Samsung has already tested its identification technology with Samsung Card, the conglomerate’s credit card company (3).

Besides Nexledger, Samsung has entered the Bitcoin mining ASIC manufacturing business. The Korean electronics giant is the latest chip manufacturer to enter the bitcoin mining hardware market. The company’s foundry has reportedly already begun producing ASIC chips for a couple of Chinese clients.

In addition, Samsung and/or its executives have been involved in a few ICOs;

Ubcoin ICO — Peer-to-peer Ebay-like marketplace

The first project is Ubcoin; Ubcoin Market is a project developed by the Ubank team. This company has been operating since 2009 and already has many specific developments. So, by 2011 mobile applications NaviFon (navigation) and Utalk (messenger) have already been launched. In 2013–2014, launched a mobile application Ubank, which includes various payment services. It is more focused on the Russian market. For all the time the company has concluded a number of contracts with many banks that provide cash flow, since Ubank is not a bank. There are also agreements with companies such as Sumsung, Fly, Huawei on placing the above applications in their phones by default.

Ubcoin is a mobile application with the help of which users can both sell and buy various goods using the cryptocurrency, namely using the internal tokens of this application — UBC. In fact, it will be a trading platform, which provides for the creation of comfortable conditions for both buyers and sellers. For each of them, convenient functions and tools will be available, such as tools for promoting advertising and targeting (4).

Muzika ICO

The second project is Muzika; blockchain startup Muzika will incorporate blockchain technology to the existing Mapiacompany foundation to build a music sharing platform that aims to reshape the digital music industry. Former CEO & Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics is one of the key advisors for Muzika.

Muzika envisions a revolutionary token economy for music that allows fans to engage directly in the production, distribution, and consumption of music.

Muzika is backed by 3 South Korean entrepreneurs with a track record of successful tech startups. Muzika is the continuation of a successful collaboration among co-founders Inseo Chung, Sangmin Heo, and Jangwon Lee who launched music tech platform Mapiacompany (5).

“We will create a new, decentralized digital music ecosystem that can autonomously achieve repeated cycles of production and distribution, and allow for the consumption of musical creations, as well as reform the profit distribution hierarchy. Muzika will be the redemption of the global digital music industry.”

Muzika Studio (MS) is the program developed by the Muzika tech team to assist indie artists to backstage manage their personal accounts on the Muzika platform — the platform itself is still a work in progress. The Studio allows artists to upload music, label and manage the music, get statistics, etc. The studio includes a wallet as well that allows artists to transfer MZK tokens. This is a screenshot of how the studio looks right now (6).

It’s good to see blockchain startups which try to tackle the problems the music industry has. Technology helped to spread music to a wider audience and even helped to increase the amount of time we listen to music. A person in the US listened to an average of 32.1 hours of music per week in 2017, which is nearly eight hours more per week than just two years ago.


(1) Bitcoin Vietnam News, January 12 2018, Korea does not prohibit the Bitcoin trade.

(2) Infinity Blockchain Labs, April 9 2018, Korea does not prohibit cryptocurrency transactions.

(3) Blockchain News, April 6 2017, Samsung SDS unveils blockchain platform ‘Nexledger’.

(4) Steemit doki16, April 2018, Review Ubcoin ICO.

(5) BitcoinExchangeGuide, August 7 2018, Kakao and Naver-backed Muzika blockchain music sharing platform set to launch.

(6) Muzika Medium, August 27 2018, Muzika artist studio prototype.

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