Terra has added another partner to its alliance of payment providers.
The Singapore-based, South Korea-focused blockchain provider and stable coin issuer has agreed to partner with Bugs, a South Korean music streaming service. Bugs is the latest addition to the Terra Alliance, a group of e-commerce companies for which Terra provides payment services.
Terra now has 25 partners in the group, including some of the largest e-commerce providers in the region, and has ambitions to become PayPal of Asia or even the next Alipay.
The latest partnership enables Bugs customers to pay for their song purchases with Terra. The company says the arrangement is the first of its kind between a major music streaming service and a blockchain payment platform.
Bugs, whose users have 5.8 million songs available, was founded in 2002. Formerly known as Neowiz, it was acquired by NHN Entertainment in 2015. The company is listed on Kosdaq, South Korea’s secondary market, in which NHN owns around 45% of the shares.
The agreement between Bugs and Terra uses CHAI, a Korean payment solutions provider that has a mobile app to complete transactions. CHAI will be the public face while Terra will provide the backend blockchain technologies.
“The payments value chain is complicated,” said Daniel Shin, co-founder of Terra. “There are six or seven players and everyone makes a cut. We streamline the process. “
The relationship with CHAI is central to Terra’s strategy, as is the alliance the company is building. Shin wants crypto to be used and used, and believes the best way to achieve this is to make the front end simple and intuitive, and give the consumer many options for spending. The power of the blockchain and the coin remains mainly in the background.
“For crypto to be a currency, it must be widely accepted for exchange. I don’t think Bitcoin fits that definition of currency, ”argues Shin. “We offer consumers access to everything they consume, one partner in every industry. Music is of course one. “
As Terraform Labs, Terra is a company in Singapore with a strong interest in Southeast Asia, but has a clear Korean connection and a clear Korea strategy. But like many companies with strong ties to the country, it has started working overseas, in part due to domestic regulations that have made the development of local crypto all but impossible.
“I think Korea has the opportunity to be a world leader, but the legislature has not given clarity. Everything is cloudy and uncertain. Providing clarity will help the sector, ”Shin said.
He noted that in places like the US something can be done if it’s not illegal. If it’s not specifically legal in Korea, then it shouldn’t even be tried. The government has to give clear approval, otherwise nothing will happen. So far the signals have been mixed and the areas open to business have been limited. But Shin has noticed some movement in this regard as authorities have increasingly understood the need for crypto.
“It used to be crypto ‘no’, blockchain ‘yes’,” he said. “Now it’s more like blockchain ‘yes’, private crypto ‘yes’, public and listed crypto ‘no’.”
Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash