Disruption, Regulation and Funding: Startup Stories from Beyond Blocks Summit Seoul - Bitsonline

Disruption, Regulation and Funding: Startup Stories from Beyond Blocks Summit Seoul

Is South Korea really where the blockchain action is? Bitsonline attended the Beyond Blocks Summit Seoul last week to gain a direct perspective on how true that is, and chat with some of the attendees and exhibitors.

Also see: Inside Crypto Exchange Ranks: Who’s the Fairest Exchange of Them All?

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Beyond Blocks Interviews: Disruption, ICOs, and Having Realistic Goals


StartupToken is an accelerator specializing in blockchain startups. CEO Yacine Terai spoke to us about how the scene has grown, and also how it’s changed in Korea recently.

He described local Korean blockchain startups as “astonishing”, and said the country has transformed from being a token-based fundraising destination into a place where developers are working on truly disruptive technology.

Since StartupToken assists these startups in raising their own funds via token sales, Terai explained how the process now has a more rational focus. It’s not about trying to make the biggest splash with $20 million USD (or more) raises, but generating what startups need to accomplish realistic goals. He also went over the differences between equity and utility tokens, and how they differ to regulators.

Singapore and Korea Growing Again in Prominence

Beyond Blocks is a Singapore-based organization, and it was interesting to see several of the exhibitors at the event representing Singapore-registered companies.

While South Korea hasn’t cracked down on cryptocurrencies to the extent some feared, Singapore has offered more regulatory clarity — making it a hub in Asia for blockchain projects and token capital-raising.

Projects included retail loyalty schemes, trading software and platforms, entertainment, energy, and much more. It’s a crowded field of mostly-unknowns and there was definitely a variety of creativity and outreach effort on display at the booths.

Trading Main Grid Energy With Smart Contracts


One display that caught our eye was Electrify, a (Singapore-registered) P2P energy trading platform looking to expand across Asia and beyond. Aiming to reduce energy costs, it’s different to similar schemes in that it aims to trade power on the main grid, rather than focusing on microgrids. Electrify completed its ICO back in February 2018 and is now in alpha test phase, planning to launch a live beta by the end of this year.

We chatted to COO Martin Lim about some of the technical and relationship-building challenges involved, and the usefulness of blockchain tech in making it work. Watch the full interview above to hear all the details.

From Seoul, Beyond Blocks heads to Bangkok for its next event, on November 26-27th. Thailand has also moved to embrace blockchain projects and has become a favored destination for ICO fundraising — turning the country from a relative crypto backwater into a popular conference destination in a short period of time.

Can Korea stay on the map for blockchain/crypto conferences and investors? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

Images and video via Jon Southurst, Bitsonline

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