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June 26, 2018

[DECODED X] Up next, ICON?

PUBLISHED : February 09, 2018 - 10:36

UPDATED : February 12, 2018 - 09:18

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Decoded X is more than just news.
It's weekly brief of critical political and economic events in Korea and their takeaway, created by the The Investor staff. 
To ensure quality, Decoded X will soon be offered as a paid service. For details, contact Monica Lee at jylee@heraldcorp.com.

In the meantime, read on for the highlights of this week’s edition.


UP NEXT, ICON? 



Korean cryptocurrency Icon (ICX), created by The Loop, a blockchain company under the umbrella of Dayli Financial Group, that is to be issued by game developer Smilegate, is garnering much attention from investors.

The firm -- which boasts industry gurus like Don Tapscott as advisors -- raised around 46 billion won (US$42.90 million) in August 2017 from an ICO outside Korea.

Icon recently held an event for investors and its “fans” at Lotte Tower’s Signiel Hotel, partly because of its significance as the tallest hotel in Korea, and also apparently because, the hotel isn’t that popular yet and is handing out discounts.

Conscious of the foreign investor community, the event was in English. 



OVER YOUR HEAD

Foreign investors don’t seem at all fazed by the latest Korean regulations on digital currency.

They know ICOs can simply be taken outside the country, and Korean cryptocurrency exchanges and the related industry continue to have a lot of attraction for them.

So in the end, the retail investors, once again, have become victims of both the boom and bust of the cycle -- not to mention a government just aching to slap on regulations.


WE WORK IN KOREA 



Co-sharing has become more than a trend in Korea as startups are gaining celeb-status.

Buildings are also eager to host them, and riding on the momentum, WeWork is planning to open 10 outlets in Seoul, in addition to the seven that’re already in operation.

WeWork has a 35-year lease contract with K Twin Tower, which is currently on the block, with Samsung Asset Management considered as the most likely buyer with its 700 billion won bid. 


WHO’S NEXT?

After Korean conglomerates Samsung Electronics and SK Group decided to put a 52-hour cap on weekly working hours for their employees, a lot of attention is focused on whether other companies will follow suit.

LG is one of the companies in the spot.

For now, company officials say they probably will eventually, but are refusing to put a timetable on it. It’s also a different story for every affiliate, although a decision from the conglomerate’s central control tower or founding family would probably give the right nudge.

LG, and a lot of others in the corporate sector believe, Samsung’s decision to adopt the 52-hour week has much to do with the upcoming final trial for Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong who is currently fighting a bribery sentence.





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