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Ishan Pandey: Hi Seonik, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind the foundation that led to Korea Blockchain Week?

Seonik Jeon: At the beginning of my journalism career, I often travelled to many international events, both domestically and abroad. While doing so, I saw a startling distinction between events held in Korea and those held abroad: while most attendees at events like CES and SXSW in the United States attracted a global audience, in Korea, it was comprised of mostly Koreans. Due to this diversity gap, I intended to organize a larger event in South Korea that would draw interest and highlight Korea’s advantages on a global scale.

Hosting a blockchain event was a natural fit for what I envisioned for several reasons. First, I was fascinated with blockchain technology and became a true believer the more I studied it. Second, the blockchain market really took off in Korea in 2017, attracting significant retail and institutional participation and interest. And lastly, being that Korea is a hub for technology and innovation, I foresaw a favourable environment for blockchain adoption and innovation in the country. These factors led us to create the first KBW in 2018 and the event has been a huge success ever since.

Ishan Pandey: Please tell us a little bit about Korea Blockchain Week and its impact on the global blockchains scene?

Seonik Jeon: For five years, Korea Blockchain has provided a key platform for entrepreneurs, developers, and industry leaders to showcase solutions, innovations, and applications worldwide. Korea has always been an ideal place for such a platform due to the country’s innovative, progressive mindset and acceptance of new concepts and technologies. I believe people worldwide now recognize that Korea is a crucial market within the global landscape and offers great opportunities. With this global interest also comes a great opportunity for Korean companies to showcase their projects to the rest of the world.

Ishan Pandey: What are your views on the blockchain startup hub and regulatory framework for Korea in contrast to the rest of the world?

Seonik Jeon: Given how quickly the blockchain market has expanded, even with the lack of regulations, I believe it will be challenging for the Korean government to enact regulations. I am aware that government representatives are frequently debating how to use regulatory monitoring to help stabilize the market and protect investors. These include regulatory measures around exchanges, custodian wallet providers and stablecoins. Korea will also implement regulations that are appropriate specifically for the Korean market, much to how China and the United States differ in their approaches to regulations.

Ishan Pandey: By 2025, blockchain technology is expected to be worth $40 billion, as it has grown from an expansive mechanism for securely storing crypto operations to a potential substitute for traditional finance. What are your thoughts on the emergence of blockchain?

Seonik Jeon: The ability to disrupt established sectors makes blockchain technology highly effective. Decentralized technologies, for example, have enabled the development of new financial products and opportunities that were previously impractical. We are still in the early phases, so there will be plenty of blunders and challenges to overcome. But I think we will persevere and significantly grow through these obstacles. Over the next few years, I anticipate that many more institutions will adopt blockchain as the sector grows.

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