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Korea Blockchain Week 2019 Speaker Spotlight


Recapping the highlights of Korea Blockchain Week 2019; Terra steals the show, HDAC announces a new project, Mike Novogratz and Thomas Lee comment on the state of the crypto market.

The Korea Blockchain Week is South Korea’s largest Blockchain Conference. As always, the conference took place in Seoul. From Sep. 27, 2019, to Oct. 4, 2019, the city hosted some of the best and most inspiring speakers and entrepreneurs in the crypto space. Along with being illuminated by the likes of Vitalik Buterin, Silvio Micali, and Mike Novogratz, there were a couple of start-ups that made quite a splash during the event. Terra and HDAC, in particular, made their presence felt by making some blockbuster announcements.

So, without any further ado, let’s look at some of the highlights from the event.

Terra and CHAI expand their reach in the Korean market

Terra is a stablecoin that is aiming to become the first mass adopted cryptocurrency via its payments dApp CHAI. CHAI enables its users to buy items online by just adding their bank account. CHAI has already partnered up with 15 major local banks to facilitate convenient fiat on- and off-ramp. In fact, CHAI is so popular that within three months post-launch, it gained over 430,000 users. CHAI also managed to outperform the more established KakaoPay in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

During the event, Terra announced four game-changing announcements that are going to push their popularity through the roof.

  • CHAI will be partnering up with BCcard – Korea’s largest payment processor – and launch a new debit card named CHAI card. 
  • CHAI will partner up with CU to enable offline payments. CU is Korea’s largest convenience store chain, with over 14,000 retail stores all over the country.
  • CHAI will now be available on Yanojla – Korea’s version of and the number one hospitality app in the country.
  • Terra partnered up with Shinsegae (SSG) Duty Free and enabled global payments in Hong Kong. SSG Duty Free is a market leader in Korea’s $17 billion duty-free shopping market. This market grew by a staggering 35% year-over-year in 2018.

If Terra and CHAI successfully leverage these partnerships, then it will put them in prime position to dominate the Korean market.

HDAC and Friday

HDAC is a blockchain company founded by Hyundai BS & C, the popular Automotive manufacturer. Headed by CEO Dae Sun Chung, HDAC will be working on a new PoS blockchain called “Friday.” Thet will also be creating a Blockchain Fund Expansion plan and study the potential uses-cases of implementing the blockchain for enterprise solutions. They have committed to invest $10 million in a bid to launch a fully-deployable Testnet and Mainnet, capable of supporting a dApps ecosystem. 

Mike Novogratz and Thomas Lee comment on the crypto market

Commenting on the state of the altcoin market, Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings, said that not all altcoins will see the light of the day. He stated:

“There were a lot of junks that raised a lot of capital but did not have sustainability. They promised a lot of protocols and an ecosystem they are going to build, and then they would attract users to the ecosystem making it a speculative asset. In order to keep a speculative market alive, you need fuel in the form of news and updates from time to time.  We must look at these tokens as venture bets.”

Thomas Lee, a Managing Partner at Fundstrat, said that Bitcoin and S&P 500 are both closely linked to one another. If the S&P curve breaks out, then further Bitcoin price growth may be expected.

Vitalik Buterin and Silvio Micali

Vitalik Buterin and Silvio Micali, the co-founders of Ethereum and Algorand, respectively, shared the stage to talk about the future of blockchain technology. Buterin spoke about the importance of DeFi (decentralized finance). He also impressed upon the need for grants for open-source Ethereum projects. Micali talked about the need for making financial operations more efficient by mitigating intermediaries. He feels that the blockchain will ultimately solve this problem for good.


The 2019 iteration of the Korea Blockchain Week has been a resounding success. With this event, South Korea reasserted its dominance as the crypto innovation and education capital of the world.

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