A senior South Korean government administrator has joined the research branch of blockchain VC Hashed. Kim Yong-beom is a well-known name in his homeland, where he served as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Korea until last year. Since leaving the post, which included liaising with domestic crypto companies, Yong-beom has chosen to enter crypto in an advisory capacity. Now he is flying the flag of the industry he once helped regulate.
Government Minister Empowers Blockchain
It should come as no surprise that a Korean government official supported blockchain technology after leaving office; After all, the country is the most tech-friendly country in the world. Seoul is not only the esports capital of the world, but Korea’s adoption of 5G and high-speed internet is also legendary. All of these provide fertile ground for blockchain and crypto adoption.
Kim Yong-beom, meanwhile, is not joining Hashed’s research division to destroy tokens or force things that don’t require the blockchain. Rather, he takes a long view and sees the potential of technology to power the country’s economy for decades. In the ’90s, South Korea gained ground in Japan’s electronics manufacturing industry as the likes of Samsung stepped onto the scene and became a tech giant.
Many in South Korea believe the same can happen with blockchain adoption, allowing the country to prepare itself for the future and drive the next wave of technology. “Since operating as a senior economist at the World Bank in early 2000, I have considered the possibility of Korea becoming a global economic powerhouse based on new technology,” explains Yong-beom. “After leaving public office early last year, I heard about Korea’s competitiveness in blockchain and digital economy when I met young talents.”
One of these meetings was at the Korea Blockchain Week hosted by Hashed, and the event is believed to pave the way for Yong-beom to take up an advisory role with Hashed Open Research. Alongside research into the underlying technology itself, the organization will explore ways in which it can be adopted more broadly.
While Kim Yong-beom’s Hashed date is a big deal for the country’s blockchain scene, it could also have bigger ramifications. Parent company Hashed is present not only in Seoul, but also in Silicon Valley, where founder Simon Kim can usually be found. The VC firm has written checks for a number of US-based blockchain startups and has a web3-heavy portfolio that contains The Sandbox, Aptos and Archway.
“Korea could potentially become G2 in the digital sector with the US if appropriate regulations are billed and enforced,” says Yong-beom. “It is inspiring that the new Korean government has chosen the ‘Basic Digital Assets Regulation’ as a national mandate and accelerated institutionalization.” The Hashed Open Research consultant believes his organization can “enable a constructive dialogue between blockchain experts and government officials through public seminars.”