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[Herald Interview] ‘Crypto-based fintech firms will emerge amid COVID-19 pandemic’

Local crypto expert plans to launch crypto-based payment system here, US and Europe

Cryptocurrency Rebalancing CEO Baek Chun-soo (right) poses after receiving a best entrepreneurship award last year. (Cryptocurrency Rebalancing)
Cryptocurrency Rebalancing CEO Baek Chun-soo (right) poses after receiving a best entrepreneurship award last year. (Cryptocurrency Rebalancing)

Despite the economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak in South Korea, the fintech industry is bustling as it has been relatively unaffected.

The nation’s gross domestic product in the second quarter fell 3.3 percent from the previous quarter, the biggest drop since the Asian financial crisis in late 1990s.

Riding the wave, the fintech industry combined with blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies will also gain momentum, according to a seasoned crypto consultant.

“Some industries, like retail, are on the wane, while fintech is accelerating the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ despite the recent economic downturn caused by COVID-19,” said Cryptocurrency Rebalancing CEO Baek Chun-soo.

“Fintech businesses utilizing digital coins will gather steam down the road.”

The Korean crypto expert, who has assisted 13 coins in being listed on crypto exchanges so far, is now consulting an operator of what is called G coin for initial public offering. The Ethereum-based coin will serve as a platform that predicts prices of coins, and consist of coins that can go through a “burning” process, in which coins can be removed from circulation to reduce the total supply.

Baek, who has won a series of awards for management in the domestic market since last year, said he was seeking long-term value investments. Instead of evaluating coin values merely based on charts, he said he takes an approach toward long-term investments. After scooping up substantial profits from his 13 pervious crypto investments, he is now working as a coin consultant and investor while trying to build a healthy crypto investment environment.

Now an experienced coin investor, the CEO said he was cryptocurrency illiterate in the beginning.

“I was not really familiar with cryptocurrencies at first, but started paying attention to digital coins some years ago after watching TV programs about Bitcoin run by a state-run broadcaster here,” he said.

“At the time, there was little information about digital coins not only in Korea, but also in other countries, and then I started to learn more about coins after trying to go deep to find the true value of cryptocurrency,” he added.

He found that costs for mining bitcoins tend to stay at a certain level despite frequent ups and downs of the coin price and that the costs hit price resistance and support on a regular basis because of what is called halving, in which incentives for mining Bitcoin are cut in half.

Many people often talk about the infamous 17th-century Dutch tulip mania when it comes to the frenzy of the Bitcoin system a couple of years ago, but Baek said that oversupply is not an issue for bitcoins.

Supply is limited, as only 21 million bitcoins can be mined in total, while tulips can be produced practically without limit, he explained.

“Once you know some patterns in the market, you don’t make groundless predictions, but should be able to respond to the market in a rational manner,” he said.

The price for a bitcoin, for example, increases a year before the halving event and sharply rises during the period when rewards for mining are cut in half. Keeping such a trend in mind, Baek recommended investing in time and taking a long-term approach to trading cryptocurrency.

The local coin consultant plans to set up a crypto-based payment system and expand it to other nations, including the US and Europe, while establishing educational institutes and medical facilities for underdeveloped nations.