The Korea Herald


Upbit Developer Conference discusses future of blockchain, CBDC

Annual forum hosted by South Korea‘s Dunamu touches on cryptocurrency thrust amid prolonged pandemic

By Kim Young-won

Published : Dec. 6, 2020 - 17:09

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Lee Sir-goo (right), CEO of cryptocurrency exchange operator Dunamu, speaks at a talk session held to open the Upbit Developer Conference 2020 last week in Seoul and livestreamed via YouTube. (Dunamu) Lee Sir-goo (right), CEO of cryptocurrency exchange operator Dunamu, speaks at a talk session held to open the Upbit Developer Conference 2020 last week in Seoul and livestreamed via YouTube. (Dunamu)

Riding momentum recently created in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, cryptocoin exchange operator Dunamu held a five-day conference for domestic and global blockchain developers last week to discuss the future of the industry as central banks around the globe experiment with digital money.

Due to the global pandemic, the third annual Upbit Developer Conference was organized as a free online event, broadcasting a series of sessions from Nov. 30 to Friday, but still drew over 3,000 preregistrations and more than 10,000 total views, the company said.

Under the slogan, “return blockchain * future; Solving the Future with Blockchain,” the event featured presentations and discussions by blockchain experts from around the world.

Lee Sir-goo, CEO of Dunamu, said the forum had provided an opportunity to “highlight the continuing evolution of online technologies even as our offline activities are greatly reduced.”

He also shared his thoughts on the impact that central bank digital currency and decentralized finance, or DeFi, will have on the global financial industry, and how blockchain technology will revolutionize our daily lives.

In line with this year’s theme, the UDC 2020 offered a look at the future of blockchain technology as well as the industry’s outlook for the coming year.

Edgardo Yu of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations World Food Program detailed the role of blockchain in reducing world hunger, while Christopher Giancarlo, senior counsel for Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and Lee Hong-kyu, CEO of Unchain, shared their thoughts on the potential impact of CBDC and overviews of their respective projects.

Regarding the growing DeFi market, Gustav Arentoft, business development representative in Europe for the Maker Foundation, and Eric Yoo, chief strategy officer of DXM, provided valuable insight into the current and future state of the industry.

The forum also touched upon major policy-related issues.

At a panel discussion moderated by Lee Goo-soon, deputy director of the blockchain team under Korean outlet Financial News, participants discussed regulatory challenges facing the blockchain industry in 2021.

Panelists Yoon Jong-soo, a partner at law firm Lee & Ko, Hong Joon-kee, head of Asia for Cumberland DRW, and Lim Ji-hoon, CSO of Dunamu, gave their perspectives on how upcoming legislation will affect various parts of the industry.

On the final day of the conference, the UDC revisited with presenters from last year to hear about their latest progress and achievements.

Kim Jong-yoon, CEO of online and offline business at Yanolja, Jay Park, CEO of Lambda256, and Dr. Leemon Baird, co-founder and chief scientist of Hedera Hashgraph, provided updates on their major blockchain projects and outlined plans for 2021.

“This year’s UDC 2020 covered not just the technological aspects of blockchain, but also its real-world applications and significant regulatory issues,” said Lee, CEO of Dunamu.

“Once some of the regulatory hurdles are removed, we expect blockchain will bring tremendous innovation to our day-to-day lives.”

By Kim Young-won (