Dunamu CEO "We will be using the term digital asset instead virtual asset"
Lee Sir-goo, CEO of Upbit operator Dunamu, said he will be using the term digital asset when talking about various types of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. “We changed the term to digital asset to better reflect what assets like Bitcoin really are and to reflect the trend,” Lee said. #Until now, people have been using the term cryptocurrency to identify virtual assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This is because before they were widely known, investors and internet users called them as cryptocurrency in online communities. After global bodies like the Financial Action Task Force started using the term virtual asset, their Korean equivalents adopted the term virtual asset as well. The latest decision by Dunamu to replace the term cryptocurrency with digital asset is to more precisely reflect what these assets really are. “With the passage of the Special Financial Act by the National Assembly recently, we have been discussing which term would be more correct. Whether we should continue referring to cryptocurrencies or use virtual asset like institutions do,” said Lee. “Considering the characteristics of Bitcoin and ethereum, we thought it would be more appropriate to use the term asset rather than currency. However, if we translate the term virtual in Korean, it gives you a strong impression that these assets don’t really exist. Looking into past cases, we also got the feeling that existing institutions don’t really admit the fact that these asset really do exist. That is why we decided not to use the term ‘virtual.’” When asked why he went for the term “digital,” Lee said although these assets use crypto technology, it only is able to describe a part of what this asset really is. Lee said he wanted the focus to be put on “asset” rather than “crypto” which is why he chose to use the word “digital asset.” Lee also said that since this asset has the possibility of being both virtual and real, he thought using a broad term like “digital” would be more appropriate. “The term ‘crypto’ also gives you the impression that it is more about technology rather than finance. We wanted to emphasize the generality of the asset.” When a new bill is passed in the National Assembly, there has to be an enforcement ordinance before an actual implementation of the bill. This is when detailed articles of the bill are established. “Until now, the institutions have not been so enthusiastic about establishing regulations about digital assets,” said Lee. “With the enforcement ordinance, we can have more detailed regulations about it. It is time for negotiation. Dunamu has been building up experience in digital assets by operating Upbit.” Lee also expressed his thoughts about the latest plunge in Bitcoin prices. “Some way Bitcoin is a dead asset,” Lee said. “Every time there were such negative words about it, Bitcoin has become more valuable. For the past 10 years, bitcoin has established credibility among investors. In that sense, Bitcoin’s drop should be understood over the long-term rather than the short-term. Just like the value of gold, it goes down and it goes up. But it never is dead. It is the same with Bitcoin.”