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Klaytn’s Rapidly Expanding Service Ecosystem

Korean company Kakao’s Klaytn blockchain was designed with a flexible modular network architecture to make it an appealing enterprise blockchain solution.

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Klaytn’s goal of achieving mass blockchain adoption through the development of flexible, value-driven end user services makes it similar to blockchain projects like Ethereum and EOS. Therefore, while Klaytn originated in South Korea and is currently populated with predominantly Asia-focused applications and web services, the project has managed to attract a broad spectrum of partners and ecosystem participants from across the globe.

Klaytn’s Service Partners

Klaytn is an enterprise blockchain platform developed by South Korean internet provider Kakao. Its modular network architecture is designed to enable businesses to conveniently customize and operate their own service-oriented blockchains built atop Klaytn architecture. These autonomously operated subnetworks are called Service Chains, and provide the core of Klaytn’s enterprise-friendly ecosystem. The flexibility and customizability of these Service Chains means that any kind of web service can feasibly build on Klaytn, although the platform excludes projects centered on gambling or financial speculation.

The Klaytn mainnet launched in June 2019 and quickly attracted more than 40 Initial Service Partners (ISPs) covering a broad spectrum of industries and use cases ranging from entertainment and e-commerce to healthcare and finance. These ISPs span over a dozen countries of origin, and were selected based on the quality of their blockchain-based services and size of their existing user bases. Examples of ISPs thus far include Humanscape, a data marketplace that handles patient-generated health data; Atlas, a blockchain-based travel content and transaction platform developed by Chinese luxury travel company Zanadu; and REDi, a blockchain-based marketplace for new and renewable energy.

Klaytn’s BApp Ecosystem

Several of Klaytn’s ISPs also host BApps, or blockchain applications, on their respective Service Chains. Klaytn utilizes the term “BApp,” instead of the more widely used  “dApp” or “decentralized application,” because the platform does not obligate its app providers to run decentralized web services on their Service Chains. Even centralized BApps can interact with Klaytn’s public mainnet and benefit from its blockchain-enabled transparency and security.

The first batch of BApps was launched on the Klaytn mainnet in June 2019, which coincided with the introduction of several initiatives to encourage development on Klaytn’s BApp ecosystem. These initiatives included the Klaytn Hackathon, a virtual hackathon allowing developers to build useful projects on Klaytn’s public testnet, and Klaytn Horizon, which invited developers from around the world to build applications on Klaytn. In both cases, applicants were judged on their ability to deliver practical services and a user-friendly blockchain experience. The winners of the Klaytn Horizon tournament in 2019 received financial awards from a $1 million USD prize pool.

As of 2020, there were nearly two dozen BApps operating on Klaytn’s mainnet. Most of these BApps are entertainment-focused, with additional blockchain-enabled features such as collectible non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Every BApp uses Klaytn’s native KLAY coins as a medium of exchange to operate and charge for their services. KLAY coins are also rewarded to top-performing BApp developers at the discretion of the Klaytn Governance Council, which is made up of high-profile strategic partners such as LG Electronics and Celltrion. This provides developers with an additional income stream in addition to their profits from operating a successful BApp on Klaytn.

Klaytn’s Far-Reaching External Partnerships

In addition to its ecosystem participants, Klaytn has also attracted a number of established enterprise partners that have made a strategic choice to work with Klaytn to expand user base and reach. While most of these Ecosystem Partners are blockchain-focused organizations, others, such as Woori Financial Group (a Korean financial services holdings company) and BCW Group (a strategy consulting firm focused on traditional and digital payments), are more traditional businesses that seek to benefit from exposure to Klaytn’s ecosystem.

In addition to partnering with multiple cryptocurrency exchanges in an Ecosystem Partnership or Governance Council capacity, in May 2020, Klaytn announced a partnership with Chainlink, a decentralized oracle network. This partnership will help Klaytn build blockchain-powered applications capable of interfacing with traditional off-chain enterprise infrastructures and further its mission of widespread adoption and connection points with existing economies.

The Klaytn Improvement Reserve

In order to further reward Klaytn enterprise users and encourage ecosystem growth, Klaytn launched the Klaytn Improvement Reserve (KIR) in June of 2020. This program rewards strategic partners and ecosystem contributors who have made strides in enhancing Klaytn’s development environment or user experience. It will also fund a wide range of community initiatives and technological research and development. The KIR automatically receives a portion of the KLAY coins generated each time a new block is created on Klaytn’s mainnet. The specific use of these funds is determined via the Klaytn Governance Process.

The first partner to receive funds from the KIR was Ozys, a Korean blockchain service provider that has built a decentralized token swap tool on Klaytn called Klaytn Swap. It has also developed new features for Klaytnscope, a multifunctional block explorer that monitors block activity on the Klaytn platform. In addition to rewarding enterprise ecosystem contributors with KLAY through its Proof-of-Contribution (PoC) evaluation mechanism, Klaytn is currently exploring ways to apply PoC to incentivize and reward the end users on its platform.

As a blockchain network launched by an established telecommunications company geared towards enterprise products without a strict adherence to decentralization, Klaytn presents a unique proposition in the blockchain ecosystem. Klaytn’s model of molding its blockchain products to fit usability today, its large-scale partnerships with legacy companies, and its advocacy for enterprise blockchain tech have already proven fruitful. Now, the promising blockchain is working towards creating lasting value for all participants within its ecosystem and fulfilling its goal of seamless global blockchain adoption.

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