No progress on virtual accounts, no idea about Eun Sung-soo and nothing much to say about Klay: Upbit
[Upbit Developer Conference 2019] “There has been no progress on virtual accounts, and although we are continuing to work on it, it doesn’t seem like anything is going to change that easily,” said Lee Sek-woo, CEO of Dunamu, which operates Upbit, at the Upbit Developer Conference on Wednesday held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Incheon. Lee responded to rumors that the company has been working closely with a venture capital firm, saying that a venture capital’s cryptocurrency being listed on the exchange does not mean that Upbit has made any special relationship with that firm. Below are excerpts of Join:D’s interview with Lee. Q> Do you believe there was a change in government’s stance toward cryptocurrency exchanges over the past year? “Since the recommendation from the Financial Action Task Force (FTAF), many have voice that the government should actively prepare a strategy. And so far we have not heard anything directly, but there have been talks at the association level. No progress has been made on the matter of opening virtual accounts. I am sorry for those who have been waiting for the past a year and a half. We are still working, but it doesn’t seem like anything is going to change that easily. We are still naively expecting the government to change as a result of the FTAF response." Q> Eun Sung-soo, former chief executive of the state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea, was recently named to head the Financial Services Commission. Do you think the regulator could change its stance on the cryptocurrency? “We will have to wait and see.” Q> Kakao is operating through Klaytn. Do you think Klay token could be listed on the Upbit exchange? “The listing process for Klay is no different from that of other coins. We are evaluating with the same standards.” Q> Many have been talking about THSP coin that was listed on the Upbit exchange recently. I heard you were looking for good cryptocurrency as well, so is THSP a good fit? “We decided to list the THSP as the coin had more demand from customers compared to other projects. In line with the recent listing trend, Upbit wants to introduce the projects launched in Korea on our own. But that’s a little burdening, as there are too many already on the table. Hundreds of projects are already awaiting evaluation, so we are trying to be careful in listing them on the exchange." Q> The case between Upbit and a Venture capital's cryptocurrency have raised rumors that Upbit’s listing requirements are related to a specific venture capital firm. “A venture capital’s cryptocurrency being listed on the exchange does not mean that Upbit has made any special relationship with that firm.” Q> What is the recent progress of Upbit? There have been some rumors on its possible M&A activity. “Not much has change for Upbit. Whatever we may want to do, foreign transactions must be allowed, but that is not possible at this point. Upbit has a branch in Southeast Asia, but the head of that branch is forced to make financial transactions by taking out loans under his own name. Foreign transactions must be allowed for the branch to operate, but as that is not possible, we are using uncomfortable ways to supply necessary funds. A lot of things are happening overseas, but we are regretful that not much can be done in response to them." Q> Busan was recently picked as a blockchain-special zone. But the city doesn’t have its own cryptocurrency. Many have said that blockchain and cryptocurrency can’t be separated, but it seems that the government thinks otherwise. What do you think? “Blockchain and cryptocurrency are connected in an indivisible relationship, but the two can operate separately. But this kind of separation model can be made and maintained by large firms like Samsung or IBM. I am positive about the recent news on Busan, and from what I know, the city is not really thinking of blockchain and cryptocurrency in separate cases. Much more liberal approaches and attempts are needed." Q> Crpytocurrency exchanges like Binance have issued their own exchange cryptocurrencies. Does Upbit have a plan like this in the future? “I don’t think issuing our own exchange coin like Binance did is a way for Upbit. That method can draw short-term benefits, but that is not a sound way to operate in long-term."