In brief

  • South Korean travel unicorn Yanolja is integrating with MiL.k, a blockchain rewards platform.
  • Customers will be able to trade Yanolja Coin for Milk Coin, a cryptocurrency that can be traded on exchanges or redeemed for rewards.
  • Transactions are encrypted on a blockchain, so companies participating in the reward program don’t have to worry about data leakage.

Yanolja, a South Korean travel company that’s valued at $1 billion, is integrating with a blockchain platform that will enable its rewards tokens to be exchanged for cryptocurrency.

The deal with blockchain rewards platform MiL.k will enable the forthcoming Yanolja Coin, a (non-crypto) rewards currency, to be exchanged for Milk Coin—a bona fide cryptocurrency that can be traded on crypto exchanges.

Cashing in with Milk Coin

Milk Coin (MLK) can also be redeemed at other vendors that have integrated MiL.k’s crypto rewards platform, such as Delivery Car, a popular South Korean car-sharing platform, and an airport bus service in the city’s capital: Seoul Airport Limousine. 

That means rewards earned from riding the airport limousine can be turned into crypto, and then sold on exchanges or redeemed at another company.

Samuel Yun, head of international business at Keyinside and Milk Partners, told Decrypt that the benefit of the system is “mutual credibility.” Reward programs contain “very sensitive information for a company,” he said, like sales information. 

On the MiL.K platform “all the transactions [are] written on ledgers and encrypted on a blockchain,” said Yun. This way, “companies don't have to worry about any data leakage and just leverage from synergies from the alliance,” he said. 

Milking your discount

MiL.k tokens also offer discounts on the rewards schemes. Buy $9 worth of MiL.K, and you’ll have $10 worth of purchasing power (the percentage increase depends on whatever deal MiL.K happens to be offering at the time, said Yun). 

The value of MiL.K tokens is pegged to that of a fiat currency—in this case, the South Korean won. So buying into MiL.K at the right time could net you bigger rewards: “If you choose to hold MLK for future value and use it later for bigger points, you can certainly do so,” said Yun.

But if you bought all your MiL.K tokens when it launched back in February, you would have lost most of your discounts. On the day of its launch, MiL.K was worth $1.51, according to metrics site CoinGecko. Its price has been steadily falling since then: it is now $0.22.