Korean fin-tech startup Streami looks to bring blockchain into the Korean banking system with StreamWire.  What is blockchain?  Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin.  Bitcoin is starting to gain traction again as the price of bitcoin has risen by three fold since the start of 2016.  Bitcoin is basically internet money.  It is a system of money made for the internet, that exists only on the internet.  Bitcoin is used to send or receive payments from anywhere in the world without intermediaries which means instantly.

blockchain

For those living in Korea, sending money abroad is a major headache.  The fees as well as the time it takes to send money from Korea to the United States, China, etc, is a problem that needs to be solved.  StreamWire looks to solve this problem.  To understand the problem deeply we need to understand how banks work.  What people don’t realize is that banks have many intermediaries with other banks to get your money from one country to another.  For example, when sending your money from Korea to China, it doesn’t go from a Korean bank to a Chinese bank in one simple transaction.  Rather it might get sent to New York than to London than to Bombay, and finally to a bank in China.  This is why it takes so long to send payment overseas.  There has to be a better solution right?

shinhan_streami

Bitcoin could be that solution and StreamWire is looking to incorporate this blockchain technology into Korean banks.  They have already partnered with Shinhan Bank and are looking bring on board other Korean banks.

Bitcoin is basically internet money.  It works just like cash but electronically.  What makes Bitcoin so intriguing is that it is not owned by a bank or government.  Just like how the government doesn’t own the internet, Bitcoin can be looked at as the only true money that can be considered truly global.  Bitcoin is recorded in a public ledger run by power computers all over the world.  Therefore it is much safer in that the only way to hack into a blockchain system is to have a computer more powerful than the whole blockchain community.  This is why bitcoin is regarded as a very safe form of currency.

Another problem with sending payment abroad is the about of fees each bank charges.  Fees need to go to the intermediaries so each time you send money it could cost the sender and the receiver $30-40 each through the industry standard SWIFT!  This is why bitcoin is so popular when dealing with overseas payments.  Not only is bitcoin instant but require very little fees.  Why would Korean banks want this?  For one it will offer better customer service.  Another reason would be that Korean banks generally don’t get a lot of money through fees, rather bigger banks are the ones that are getting the benefits of fees to customers.  If Korea wants to be at the forefront of digital currency it is only logical for Korean banks to embrace bitcoin and the first step would be to work with Streami to get a blockchain system into Korean banks.

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