Last week, ICONLOOP Director Henry Lee shared the news that ICONLOOP participated in a blockchain discussion with prominent Korean politicians, including the former Deputy Prime Minister, and Deputy Mayor of Busan City.  

According to the The Nodist, a Korean blockchain digital media company, the purpose of the blockchain open-forum was to discuss three issues: the current state of the Korean blockchain industry, Busan as a blockchain regulation-free zone and blockchain as a solution for the future. Present were members of the government and blockchain companies ICONLOOP, Terra, and Hashed.

Blockchain in Korea: Get Real

Discussions surrounding blockchain’s real life applications particularly attracted interest from the audience. As The Iconist mentioned last week, Seoul has announced its first blockchain-based administrative system. This was surely good news, not only because ICON was confirmed as one of the partners for this project, but also because of the benefits it would bring to the citizens of Seoul.

ICONLOOP CEO Kim Jong-Hyup mentioned how blockchain systems would be adopted in real life:

“I think there are certainly stages in the application of new, paradigm-shifting technology such as blockchain to real life. First, there will be a step to replace the existing service, and then there will be a step to change people’s lives with a complete transformation. A transformation can occur only if you first create a relevant environment in order to graft the new onto the legacy system, to connect the two. ICONLOOP is also focusing on creating an environment for the administrative sector and introduced services such as blockchain citizenship as a pilot company for the blockchain standard platform in Seoul. There are many opinions on how meaningful blockchain technology is at this point, but I hope people can understand that it may take some time for this technology to expand to every corner of society because you need to create the environment first.”

To Coin or Not to Coin (Is it the Question?)

Meanwhile, many opinions were brought up to solve the misunderstandings of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Lawmaker Min Byung-Du said, “It’s quite frustrating. From the authorities’ point of view, there seems to be an afterimage that cryptocurrency is the most sophisticated fraud in history.”

In fact, government policy is to separate cryptocurrency and blockchain. While it supports the latter, it has de-facto banned the former.

Kim Jong-hyup said, “Depending on how you define ‘coin,’ you can have private blockchains that don’t need token economies, so the government claim that you can separate coins and blockchain is correct.” He added, however, “The blockchain platform Seoul is preparing prioritizes administrative services, but you have to see it as an affirmation of the value of public blockchain in so far as it aims to reward citizens in the end.” 

Imagining a Blockchain Future

Kim said, “In a society that has adopted blockchain, even if existing jobs are threatened, people in those jobs can use the platform and receive high-value rewards to the extent that they contribute to the platform. Because of this, I think the question of jobs will be resolved. This is because a characteristic of blockchain is that it clearly reveals how much you’ve contributed. It’s a technology suited to cooperative action.” He added, “I believe that blockchain can contribute significantly to allowing everyone to sufficiently earn the value of their labor and make a stable income.”