Unitimes Interviewed Ethan Kyuntae Kim，CTO of Hashed：Hashed’s Incubation of Projects
On June 3, 2018, CSDN and LinkTime hosted the Conference on Ethereum Technology and Application in Beijing. In the conference, Ethan Kyuntae Kim, the Chief Technology Officer and partner of Hashed, presented a speech on “Potentials of the Blockchain Technology and Current Limitations”. After the conference, Unitimes had an interview with Ethan Kyuntae Kim who shared with us some information concerning Hashed’s incubation of projects and also the current and future trends of crypto market in Asia. What follows are the details of the interview.
Unitimes: We have learnt that Hashed has many acceleration projects in South Korea, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong and Singapore, such as Sentinel Protocol, Contents Protocol, TTC protocol and Terra, to name only a few. Would you like to share with us how Hashed dig out good projects? Or do you have any criterion or standard when choosing a project to incubate?
Ethan Kyuntae Kim: Sure. There are six partners at Hashed. All of them are entrepreneur or engineer background. We are all very familiar with Korean local entrepreneurs as well. Until now, we have a lot of friends in IT startup field. They have their own business, their existing business, and they want to adopt blockchain technology to make synergy. So, that’s how we find teams in South Korea until now. Also, we’ve gained reputation from countries across the world, like Singapore and South East Asia, China and America as well. The deals are coming to us very often, but the candidates of accelerating teams are very hard to find rather than investment. Once we get the team, we should find out if the team is legit or not, the most important thing is the team itself. So we are finding out if the team is capable of implementing their core idea by adopting blockchain technology. And also we want to see their commitment for their project as well. And also, we should track each co-founder of the team, and see if the team members’ history is relevant to the project as well. So that is the first thing. And the second thing is, the core idea of the team. We want to know their core idea is focused on technology or not. Because we have two tracks of our accelerating teams, the first track is kind of focusing on the public blockchains. The second track is, if they have their own existing business already, they want to adopt blockchain technology. It is the second track of acceleration. We would definitely go for the teams who have the relevant backgrounds, that would consider adding the blockchain technology is relevant to what they want to do and what they are doing, and also the backgrounds of the members of the team. If they are doing great, and blockchain is great, but if the partners at Hashed don’t see relevancy, then they won’t do it. We have our own research team inside our own company. So we make our due diligence internally. After that, we make a lot of questions to the core developer teams. So after that, if we are satisfied with the answers of the team, we will decide to get the acceleration for the team.
Unitimes: Generally speaking, how would Hashed carry out the incubation of a certain project?
Ethan Kyuntae Kim: Firstly, we are very familiar with ICOs or getting cryptocurrencies into the project, because we have seen a lot of projects doing ICOs by accelerating the teams. So we can help them to make the structure of the ICOs, and also we can help them to build strong token economy of the project. Our thesis is that the core idea of decentralized system is kind of an incentive system. If the team had made the token economy as an incentive system very well, we are very interested in it. So we want to help them to build a strong and robust ecosystem for the token economy. The core idea is, if all of the entities who participate in the ecosystem maximize their profit in the network and behave selfish in the network, the network should be getting more and more robust by doing selfish way. So we want to see that is implemented in their toke economy.
Unitimes: We know from your official Facebook that Hashed’s Chief Business Officer Alex Shin and you were invited to the Stanford Blockchain Collective’s seminar “Crypto in Asia” and you talked about current and future trends of crypto market in Asia, and also the important roles of Hashed in Korea & Global Markets. Would you also share that with us here?
Ethan Kyuntae Kim: Korea is a hyper-connected country, the metropolitan cities like Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco have bigger advantages in adopting blockchain. In South Korea, with only 50 million population, and more than 60% are living in Seoul, more than 40% white collar workers have experience in investing cryptocurrencies. So the market penetration is really high. If the reference of the usage of the tokens starts to appear in the market, the cryptocurrencies will penetrate the market very quickly, and people in South Korea will adopt blockchain or cryptocurrencies very quickly as well. So what we are trying to find is promising teams in South Korea because the Korean software developer communities are not well-established in terms of blockchain. Because current phase is just interest level. It’s not mature. So we want to help the Korean developer communities to grow fast. That’s why we are doing many things in crypto communities.
Unitimes: Would you share with us the main challenges that Hashed is now facing?
Ethan Kyuntae Kim: The first thing is the international regulations towards the mode of blockchain. Actually, the regulations are not established yet. We have no guidelines for doing our business in this field. If the regulation or policy or law is established internationally or in South Korea, we can follow it. But it’s not established yet. So it is kind of potential risk for us to do business in blockchain field. Second, the South Korean software developer community is not that well-established, as I mentioned earlier, so it is a big challenge for finding good teams in blockchain field in South Korea. So that’s why we are trying to find those promising teams globally, cross the world.
Unitimes: In your speech, you talked about the potential and limitations of current blockchain, and that’s really awesome. Would you also share with us your understanding of Ethereum?
Ethan Kyuntae Kim: In my opinion, Ethereum’s core philosophy is very good because it is public blockchain, and it is focusing on decentralization. Of course there are many blockchain technologies in this field. Each blockchain has its own philosophy, and I respect that. Ethereum’s philosophy is like the coolest law, decentralizing their ruling or dictatorship to the public. I like that way. Currently, Ethereum has scalability issue which is not resolved until now. But I believe that core Ethereum team is very smart and young kids. They are challenging to the existing problems in public blockchain now. So the problems will be solved by their trails. So I believe Ethereum blockchain will be one of the greatest blockchain technologies in terms of computing platform and environment for the blockchain.
Unitimes: What do you expect from the conference? Does Hashed plan to incubate any wonderful projects in China?
Kyuntae Ethan Kim: Sure, we are very interested in finding and incubating good teams in China. We believe that China is a really big market. And China will penetrate cryptocurrencies a lot faster than South Korea. We are very interested in incubating Chinese teams if we can find one. Of course, Chinese people who live in South Korea, as well as those Chinese students studying in South Korea, are more than welcomed to join Hashed if they are interested in Blockchain or our company.
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