Korea Blockchain Association nominates former Financial Supervisory Service Senior Deputy Governor Oh Kap-soo as next Chairman

The Korea Blockchain Association (KBA) has nominated former Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Senior Deputy Governor Oh Kap-soo to succeed current Chairman Chin Dae-je. Who is Oh Kap-soo? The former FSS official recently served as a financial committee chief for President Moon Jae-in’s presidential campaign in 2017. After his service as the senior deputy governor at FSS during President Roh Moo-hyun’s administration, Oh worked as the vice chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Korea and an outside board director at KB Kookmin Bank. Oh currently serves as the chairman of Seoul-based Global Finance Society. His nomination for the post at KBA will be confirmed during a board member meeting on June 24. What is the KBA? Established in August 2017, the organization has members such as major domestic cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone and other major blockchain projects. The KBA was active early last year when it worked to come up with self-regulatory measures for the industry, such as real-name accounts for exchanges. However, its role has weakened recently as the government took a critical stance toward cryptocurrency. Current chairman Chin De-jae has served in his post since January last year and has promoted a number of key initiatives, such as guidelines for initial coin offerings and the management of cryptocurrency exchanges. Chin served as the Minister of Information and Communication during the Roh Moo-hyun administration What is the expected direction under the new chairman nominee? Oh is considered to be close to the current administration and supportive of its policies. During his term in the Global Finance Society, Oh expressed support for the Moon Jae-in administration’s economic policies, such as income-led growth. During a conflict between Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku and ride-sharing service Socar CEO Lee Jae-woong over the direction of the industry, Oh was inclined toward the government’s perspective. What are the future issues? The KBA needs to respond to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) new guidelines, to be implemented in June, and also new financial laws expected to be introduced soon. There is also the Virtual Asset Service Providers Summit later this month held in parallel with the G20 that seeks to establish an international standard for cryptocurrency between blockchain associations around the world. Jess’ note: After Chairman Chin expressed his intent to resign, the blockchain association faced significant internal and external conflict over the post. While former Office for Policy Coordination Minister Lee Suk-joon was expected to be nominated for the role, that plan was scrapped due to regulations from the ethics committee on government officials. Nominee Oh was highly rated by the industry. “Oh is very forward thinking about the blockchain industry,” said a source well aware of discussions in the industry. “He has a progressive idea about the institutionalization and expansion of cryptocurrency.” "As Chin had stronger connections with the Ministry of Science, there were limits to networking in the financial sector,” the source added. The KBA has been criticized in the past year for failing to produce results. Oh is expected to bring some changes. Whenever the Global Finance Society, where Oh serves as chairman, hosts an event, chiefs of private banks, FSC and FSS and the most prominent finance industry experts take part. The society hosted a special blockchain session during its event last month. The KBA has important issues to resolve, such as the guidelines from the FATF and amendments to finance laws. Oh could be key in leading the organization.

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