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Blockcast: Good evening all, this is Joann Kim from South Korea. It is our honour to interview Sang Lee in South Korea. We got to know him through Anndy Lian, who speaks very highly of him. We did some extensive research about what he is doing and thankfully we manage to get our timing right to schedule for this interview. Hi Sang, good to hear from you, can you let our readers know more about you? Your career, family and what you do for your hobbies?
Sang: Thanks Joann. Everyone in the world is feeling the pain of the COVID-19 crisis and my thoughts go out to everyone that is affected by this global pandemic. In certain ways, it reminds me of my career that started out in 2008, in the heart of the financial crisis. I had originally wanted to be a scientist but changed over to become a financial engineer, so it was a terrible time to graduate school in 2008. But it also presented the perfect opportunity for what I really wanted to do, which was to become an entrepreneur. Working in traditional financial services for a number of years, really let me learn and see things from the inside out, which I think is necessary for the type of innovation we want to bring to the finance industry.
I’m a pretty low-key guy, but I love to read and travel. Both things I think are tied to being able to learn and experience new things from the perspectives of others.
My family lives in Seoul, which is where I’m currently sharing these thoughts. During the COVID-19 crisis, South Korea ended up dealing with it quite well. I think my family was also an important part of how I become an inquisitive person made me want to forge my path as an entrepreneur.
Blockcast: What do I think about South Korea as a blockchain hub?
Sang: I think that South Korea has taken all the right moves to position itself as a leader in the blockchain crypto industry. For a long time, crypto exchanges still remained unregulated, but now the government has taken the first steps to legitimize crypto exchanges while also providing accessibility and protection for investors. Furthermore, the entire country has various initiatives to accelerate the development of blockchain technology for various public initiatives.
Blockcast: You have a lot on your plate from Darc Matter to Vegax Holdings. Of all the companies that you are involved in, which stands up most and which is possibly the Unicorn?
Sang: Everything that we are doing is directly tied to the innovation of financial services and asset management. There’s so many problems in the industry that need and can be fixed. Blockchain and digital assets represent a huge opportunity and effectively can act as a leapfrog for much of the gradual innovation that would have had to take place otherwise. True trustless disintermediation and democratization of financial services can be accelerated through blockchain and digital assets. But we are all connected companies so we will become unicorns together!
Blockcast: Which blockchain mainnet do you believe in most for businesses? How did that work out?
Sang: I believe that the development of blockchain mainnets is still quite early. While this may sound somewhat contradictory, I also believe that the development of blockchain mainnets has reached sufficient maturity or actual real-world use cases to develop a true economy to emerge around the technology.
Blockcast: How do you see the adoption of blockchain? Is the pace of adoption reasonable?
Sang: We are way behind in the adoption of blockchain technology. There’s still a lot of evangelizing which is of course important, but given how the blockchain industry received so much attention.
Blockcast: I noted you are also actively talking about Defi. How do you see the Defi market? Which Defi project do you think is good in your own opinion?
Sang: A lot of the projects that are working on DeFi, for example MakerDAO, are moving the markets in the right direction. Lending and fixed income is what forms the foundational basis for financial services so it’s something that has to be created first. Having said that, the DeFi options that are in the market are still relatively limited and we as an industry still have much to do in order to help bring that adoption to the market. Also, the DeFi market needs to become much more accessible and understandable without significant knowledge of technology, which is something that we are still lacking today. We still have our work cut out for us. For example, people don’t know the ins and outs about how IPO and equity trading works in the traditional markets, but investors trust that the system works. That is the ideal that we need to build toward.
Blockcast: If we were to ask for your advice on the blockchain and crypto market, what is the top 3 advice you would give?
Sang: This will be the 3 advice that I will give.
- Do your own due diligence as the market is still in a nascent stage and taking form. If new people are to get involved, they should definitely do their own homework and be prepared to take on a significant amount of risk. But without risk there is no reward.
- Be very wary of experts on the internet. Much of twitter communication exists in a bubble with a lot of self-reinforcement. Be careful to find sources of information that might be more valuable. It’s impossible to find impartial information, but as much as possible.
- Blockchain is still an evolving and highly technical tool that requires an entirely different way we think about society as a whole. Wear a different lens when considering the impact of blockchain.
Blockcast: Can you share an inspiring quote for our readers?
Progress is never easy or painless. Nothing worthwhile ever is. – Sang Lee
Blockcast: Thanks Sang! It is great talking to you. You can reach out to Sang at https://twitter.com/SangIsHere.