Korea, which has been professing itself to be an “information and communication technology (ICT) powerhouse,” can increase its competitiveness in the global internet platform market as well as traditional industries such as manufacturing, distribution and finance, if it takes advantage of blockchain technology. In addition, the application of blockchanin technology to these emerging and traditional industrial sectors would offer Korean tech start-ups more opportunities to go global.
These views were presented during a seminar organized by Samsung Next, an investment arm of Samsung Electronics based in Silicon Valley, at D.Camp, a startup support center located in Seolleungro, Seoul, on June 27. The main theme of the seminar was "global, investment and decentralization."
"We are employing decentralization, which includes artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, as the basic themes of our investment," said Brandon Kim in charge of tech start-up investment at Samsung Next. “Google, Amazon and other major Internet platform players that may feel that decentralization are threats to them are actively investing in start-ups for decentralization." In the age where one platform kept data to itself, Google and Facebook were the dominant factors, but in the era of decentralization where individuals can secure data sovereignty, a strong new player can emerge by putting blockchain technology to good use, Kim explained.
Directors from Samsung Next in New York and Silicon Valley, Europe and Israel also shared trends in blockchain technology in each country. In particular, there was analysis that in Korea, blockchain technology would bloom in the field of smart factories.
"Korea well equipped with smart factory facilities such as AI, the internet of things (IoT) and real-time data analysis, can increase its competitiveness through decentralization based on blockchain," said Yoon Hong-ryeol, director in charge of Korea.
"The CEO of JP Morgan withdrew his statement earlier this year saying 'Bitcoin is a fraud' and is leading a global block chain consortium," said Gus Warren, director in charge of New Yrok at Samsung Next. "The entire financial industry is mulling over integrating blockchain into their business. To cite instances, the stock exchange is directly developing an online platform for Bitcoin trade and Goldman Sachs is studying Bitcoin-related derivatives."
With respect to this, Raymond Liao, director in charge of Silicon Valley at Samsung Next, predicted that considering user experience (UX) and user interface (UI), general consumers would be able to directly experience the decentralization of the financial business in the blockchain-based credit evaluation and overseas remittance.
Europe is also discussing blockchains in conjunction with the recently implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). "Blockchain which cannot be fabricated or tampered with are based on trust, which is the fundamental goal of the GDPR," said the Samsung Next director in charge of Europe. “Start-ups need to make a lot of innovative efforts to normalize data in the form where individuals will be able to take the lead in whether or not various kinds of data accumulated at Google and Amazon will be shared.”