SEOUL — KT Commerce, the ecommerce wing of South Korea’s largest telecom company KT, joined hands with blockchain solution company Block Labs, to make a foray into the metaverse-based ecommerce market. Through the cooperation, the two companies will develop a platform where users can experience real world-like shopping malls in virtual reality.
Metaverse is a virtual world that can be accessed using smartphones, PCs, or virtual reality headsets. Users can engage in various social and cultural activities using their personalized characters called “avatars.”
KT Commerce signed a cooperation agreement with Block Labs on December 28 to develop metaverse-based technologies and services including a blockchain-based metaverse platform, the ecommerce company said in a statement. “Through the cooperation, we will actualize real world-like shopping malls in the metaverse world,” Lee Au-jin, KT Commerce’s public relations official, told Aju Business Daily.
According to the KT Commerce official, the two companies will create the virtual shopping mall platform using digital twin technology. A digital twin is a virtual clone of an object or an infrastructure. While KT Commerce will be in charge of the management of the platform including a payment system, Block Labs will create a metaverse-based network server using blockchain technology, the unhackable virtual ledger system that gives unique digital identities to users.
KT Commerce and Block Labs are members of Metaverse Alliance, a consultative body organized by South Korea’s science ministry. More than 700 companies and institutions have joined Metaverse Alliance for the development of metaverse platforms.
Data released by South Korea’s National Assembly showed that the global metaverse market is expected to grow from 34.1 trillion won ($30.7 billion) in 2021 to 856 trillion won in 2024. The adoption of the metaverse has been accelerated in various industries in South Korea. The operator of South Korea’s top convenience store chain CU is currently operating an online convenience store on ZEPETO, a popular smartphone metaverse app, to invite customers to a virtual clone of a CU store located in one of Seoul’s riverside parks.
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