Klaytn is an open-source blockchain ecosystem developed by Kakao and its subsidiary GroundX. It is built on reliability and stability with substantial service development in order to achieve mass adoption. Being user-friendly allows real-world apps to be produced right away so that users can make full use of the service without much knowledge of the blockchain.
Kakao is the company behind Klaytn. It is one of the largest publicly traded companies in South Korea, with a market capitalization of over $40 million. KakaoTalk and KakaoTaxi are two of the most used services in the country. Kakao also launched South Korea's first internet-only bank back in 2017, and overall, offers more than two dozen services.
Kakao faced multiple obstacles from regulatories but managed to dodge them by using subsidiary companies in foreign countries.
In 2017, Kakao partnered with Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange to launch Upbit, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange. In 2018, Kakao confirmed the launch of a Japanese subsidiary called GroundX, which would later become the developer company for Klaytn. In late 2018, GroundX expanded to Singapore, and shortly after, Kakao announced an ICO for Klaytn with a goal of $300 million. Even though ICOs are banned in South Korea, it didn't cause trouble for Kakao since the ICO was held in Japan.
Yeo Min-soo, CEO of Kakao, describes Klaytn as being similar to Facebook's Diem but much more advanced since Klaytn has a broader use case. Diem is only able to transfer fiat stablecoins between users, but Klaytn aims to be the core of South Korean blockchain businesses. Kakao's mainnet was launched less than a year after the ICO.
Klaytn became available on Kakaotalk in June 2020 and is accessible through the Klip wallet. Klip supports 11 Klaytn-based blockchains (KLAY, BOX, PIB, HINT, ATT, TEMCO, BNS, PXL, ISR, COSM) and NFTs. Klip wallet makes it possible for businesses to enhance customer experience on Kakaotalk. Kakaotalk users are rewarded with NFTs or FTs when they make an in-app purchase or interact with sponsored content. KLAY can be staked in Klip wallet.
Klay hosts more than 60 defi protocols and dapps like KlaySwap, which is a decentralized exchange with a 300 million daily trading volume. Although it is not clear what Kakao's vision for the future of Klaytn is, the volatility suggests that it's probably not similar to Facebook's Diem and is far more ambitious than that. Which direction Klaytn is going to take is decided by Klaytn's governance council, which consists of over 30 crypto and non-crypto projects, with members like Binance and LG.
Klaytn's ICO happened back on June 25th this year and ended on July 9th. The fundraising goal was to sell 1,327,433 tokens. However, they raised 10,602,731,555 tokens, with each token being equal to 1 USD in price. Klay's ROI over the past year has been 264%, meaning if you had invested $100 in Klay a year ago, you would have $264 by now. Klay's market capitalization is more than $4 billion with a 49% liquidity score and currently ranks 49 in market cap rankings. In the span of 5 months, Klay's popularity has increased nicely. It saw a 35% increase in Twitter followers and a neat 79% increase in Reddit.
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