The key issue of cryptocurrency in the New Year is to spread widely, says Professor Kim Hyoung-joong
The key issue of cryptocurrency in the New Year is to spread widely, says Professor Kim Hyoung-joong
  • Yeon Choul-woong Reporter
  • 승인 2019.01.01 06:51
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- Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center will hold a seminar for the 10th anniversary of the mining of Bitcoin Genesis Block on January 3.

- Advent of the cryptocurrency world-- - Koreans' DNA has enough ability to secure the status of digital Wall Street.

- Despite the government's negative stance, the cryptocurrency industry can emerge as a global powerhouse only when it breaks through a bumpy road
Kim Hyoung-joong professor
Kim Hyoung-joong professor


Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center will hold a seminar to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the mining of Bitcoin Genesis Block in the Korea University's Future Convergence Hall on January 3rd, New year. Kim Hyoung-joong, head of Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center (Professor of Graduate School of information Security, Korea University) said, "It is an amazing innovation that Bitcoin has offered a way to reach a consensus in the P2P network over the past decade to technically prevent double spending of cryptocurrency."

He also explained that while Bitcoin technology was highly innovative from a supplier's perspective, it lacked efforts to expand its use of Bitcoin from a consumer's perspective at a time when looking back it 10 years after the disclosure of mainnet. "However, if Bitcoin is widely diffused, bitcoin's technological innovation is expected to shine out naturally."

The followings are answers and questions in an interview with Kim Hyoung-joong, head of Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center

▶ In which direction will the Bitcoin 10th anniversary seminar prepared by Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center be carried out?

We have asked experts who represent Korea to look at the past, present, and future of cryptocurrency. Each of them will give their opinion for half an hour. I expect it to be a meaningful attempt. Professor Lee In-ho of Seoul National University in the economic field, Judge Lee Jeong-yeop of the Daejeon District Court in the legal field, Dr. Song In-kyu of the Blockchain Investment Research Institute in the investment field, Professor Kim Yong-dae of KAIST in the security field, and Dr. Choi Soo-hyuk of SymVerse in the technical field will present their views.

▶ Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center provides continuous enlightenment and education to the government, education and related industries as Korea's technological competitiveness and lack of professional manpower are emerging as active tasks in the world blockchain encryption stage. I'm curious about the effects of the projects that we have so far been propelled.

The effects may not appear soon. Nevertheless, the biggest effect was to use the name "cryptocurrency research center" to show that there is a research center in a high profile university that specializes in cryptocurrency. I think It has given self-esteem, pride and strength to those working in the cryptocurrency industry. We also informed people of the conditions for creating a successful mainnet through the event to look back on cryptocurrency.

▶ The domestic blockchain cryptocurrency companies seem to be showing the rapid progress with the listed 25 Korean coins, overcoming the rebuke that they have been regarded as scams. Please analyze the characteristics and potential of the companies according to their outstanding movement and ranking standards.

It is still too early to predict the success possibility of cryptocurrency made in Korea. It's not technically unique, and it's not a big deal on the market in terms of trade volume. Nevertheless, about 25 of them are on the CoinMarketCap list. Only two of them, ICON and DEX were included in the top 100. They are doing relatively well under difficult conditions. Although it is a short period of time, the accumulated experience will be the driving force of Korea's cryptocurrency competiveness.

▶ I have read your thoughts, "Cryptocurrency is a gift given by the God to President Moon Jae-in." Please explain its specific reasons.

The financial environment is changing. Modern financial industries, which started in London and Amsterdam, blossomed on Wall Street in the analog era. With the advent of the cryptocurrency world, I expected Korea to secure its place of digital Wall Street, but I think the government kicked out without knowing it was a gift. Upbit and Bithumb ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world in the exchange field, the cryptocurrency ICON ranked in the top 20 in terms of market size, and Hdac, known as Hyundai Coin, finished ICO at the highest amount in 2017. I think Koreans have the ability to secure enough digital Wall Street status in DNA.

▶ Following 2018, the biggest keyword for cyber security threats is "cryptocurrency" in 2019.

At a time when the blockchain and smart city start to take place, artificial intelligence is added. Accordingly, a fierce battle between "attack" and "defense" is expected, and I wonder how to address these challenges.

The vulnerabilities of cryptocurrency can be broadly identified as smart contract vulnerability, protocol vulnerability, and link vulnerability. A 51% attack is a protocol vulnerability. A link vulnerability is located in all the connections to cryptocurrency. Hacking into the exchange is a link vulnerability. Smart contract vulnerability is caused by poor coding, which is expected to be the most serious vulnerability in the future.

The most fundamental attack is a double-spending attack. When the double-spending becomes easy, life ends as cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, were designed with a very low probability of double-spending, but a graduate student, who recently took my class, "Introduction to cryptocurrency", found an effective technique that further lowers the probability.

Education and smart contract auditing are required to reduce the vulnerability of smart contract. You also need to develop automatic testing software.

▶ Last month, the first examination of mainnet assessment event hosted by Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center sparked interest not only in Korea but also around the world. I think overseas mainnets will be very interested in participating in the second event next year. What kind of merits will be provided when overseas mainnets participate in the event?

I think the mainnet assessment will be fair. There are limits to evaluating and comparing mainnets with a uniform standard, but there were no fair mainnet assessments. I think it is an important achievement that fair evaluation standards are presented through this event.

▶ As speculative issues such as the cryptocurrency exchange are raised, the technology of the blockchain itself tends to be buried. The government continues to call for nurturing blockchains and regulating cryptocurrency. What is the relating effect between cryptocurrency and blockchain and the positive factors and negative effects of the two industries?

There was an argument that they could not be separated or that they could be separated. These arguments are only consumptive. Blockchain is just one of the cryptocurrency elements. You may use blockchain in the application field that requires blockchain, rather than arguing whether to separate it or not. The best thing is to develop and use them according to the application field, rather than distinguish them.

▶ What is difference between the policy of advanced blockchain countries such as the U.S., Britain, Canada, Estonia and Singapore and that of Korea? I wonder if there is a way for Korea to join the ranks of advanced countries in blockchain.

The development of cryptocurrency is directly linked to the development of blockchain. The Korean government's negative view of cryptocurrency is different from other countries, for example. Despite the government's negative stance, however, the cryptocurrency industry should break through a rough road to become a global powerhouse.

▶ The government wants to promote cryptocurrency and blockchain separately. In order to compete with foreign advanced technologies, some say that the cryptocurrency industry needs to be developed simultaneously. What's your opinion?

That is exactly what you asked. However, the cryptocurrency industry is closer to the private sector. I think that the private sector will do everything when it makes money, no matter what the adversities are, and they will be able to overcome them.

▶ There are many arguments that if the Korean government allows ICO, it will increase competitiveness and create jobs as foreign ICO companies flock to Korea. How will it affect cryptocurrency in terms of expanding the market?

It is not clear whether allowing ICO will increase competitiveness and attract foreign companies. But we also have to think about whether stopping it is the best policy. However, I guess it would be better to do ICO at home than to do it abroad. While it is desirable to allow ICO, that alone does not determine the critical competitive edge of the cryptocurrency industry.

▶ You said that tokenized asset will be an important keyword in the future. I wonder how the project to token real estate in the course of Korea University's Blockchain Strategy Professional Management Program is implemented. Is there any overseas case?

Investments in tokenized assets are still available in the U.S. through investment-qualified companies. It is a tokenized asset that enables installment investment, even though it is difficult to divide physically, such as real estate. But this asset poses a lot of problems in registration, sales and rent, etc. A project in the course will practice finding and solving these problems.

▶ The year 2018 is coming to an end. What are the key New Year's issues in the world's blockchain market, including Korea? How do you view your future prospects?

I think the most important thing is how to spread cryptocurrency widely. The number of cryptocurrency users is a yardstick of success. For those in the cryptocurrency industry, the most important thing is to secure the number of users.

▷Kim Hyoung-joong, Head of Korea University's Cryptocurrency Research Center/ Professor of Graduate School of Information Security, Korea University (

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