S.Korean chat app firm Kakao plans blockchain unit

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SEOUL (Reuters) – Kakao Corp, South Korea’s largest messaging app operator, said on Monday it is planning to establish a unit focusing on blockchain technology.

Plans for the unit, set to be established this month, include a potential so-called reverse initial coin offering where an established firm raises capital through offering cryptocurrency, The Bell, a domestic online news site reported on Monday.

Kakao declined to comment on the report.

Kakao said Han Jaesun, co-founder of local startup accelerator FuturePlay Inc, is expected to lead the new unit.

Shares in Kakao fell 3.5 percent on Monday, a slide that analysts said was part of overall weakness in South Korean shares amid worries about a U.S. trade war. The main Kospi index closed down 1.1 percent.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs