On May 5, Cacao announced that it has established a block chain subsidiary, 'Kacao Block Chain (tentative name)', and has appointed Han Jae-sun, a partner of start-up Future Play .
A Kakao official told Huffington Post Korea: "We are discussing the introduction of a cryptographic business, including ICO, through subsidiaries."
What is a ‘reverse ICO’?
What Kakao means by the name ‘reverse ICO’ is that they intend to offer their coins to accredited investors only.
Unlike traditional ICOs, wherein anybody could register and contribute and receive coins accordingly, mainly larger tech firms are utilising the ICO model but only offering their tokens to bigtime investors, so to speak.
A recent example was Telegram, the messaging app which made headlines as the world’s highest grossing ICO. The two presales were launched in secret and the sale was not open to the public. The actual ICO hasn’t even started yet so it’s unclear whether the main phase will be open to the public.
Telegram’s ICO has already raised more than $1 billion USD.
Upcoming Press Conference
Kakao is expected to announce a concrete business plan, including ICO details, via a press conference, on March 20.
Currently, domestic ICOs so Kakao’s ICO is expected to take place abroad, in Singapore or Hong Kong. Hong Kong especially is a major hotbed for ICOs thanks to its lax regulations.
Kakao plans to conduct its ICO overseas to allow it to be bought and sold at major domestic trading sites. Kakao is a major shareholder with a 20% stake in the two trees which operate the largest cipher site in the country.
'Kakoa Coin' will help the company expand its global content business. For example, when a Kakao coin is added to the Picco, a subsidiary of Japanese Kakao in Japan, it can be linked to various fintech businesses in a straightforward manner.
In Korea, it is possible to take control of the mobile commerce market by using Kakao coin instead of money by combining various Kakao services such as KakaoTalk, KakaoDriver, and KakaoGame.
Kakao will use its funds secured through ICO to secure block-chain technology and actively take over related companies. In February, Kakao issued a foreign stock deposit (GDR) through the Singapore Exchange to attract $ 1 billion USD in foreign funds.
An industry official said: "There is no reason why companies that do various content businesses like cacao will not enter the coin market. There is no reason to use coins instead of cash to obtain payment data, I do not have to pay a commission, so there are many advantages."
"Coins themselves can attract overseas users, but the government has a negative view on ICO, so it should be more widespread whether it can be universally used in Korea."
More details will no doubt be revealed at the upcoming press conference, scheduled for March 20.