Author: Wang Yanhua
A former traditional medicine practitioner who fell in love with blockchain, Lee Woon-Hee, founder and CEO of Ether Social Network (ESN), is now one of the most influential figures in the Korean blockchain industry.
Block Asia met Lee and ESN’s division manager Seomun Seong-Su yesterday, who flew from Korea to Singapore to host a meetup. They are both seasoned members of the blockchain industry who are extremely passionate about what they do, so Block Asia was eager to pick their brains.
Lee is someone that holds the value of building communities and harnessing their collective powers dear. 5 years ago, recognising the importance of creating a blockchain community, Lee founded Ddengle.com, Korea’s largest blockchain forum. In September last year, ESN, a community coin system jointly developed by the users and developers at Ddengle.com, was launched.
Currently, about 4.5 million ESN has been mined by 13 mining pools and 4000 accumulated miners.
MAKING THE WORLD BETTER
Lee and Seomun are all about developing various blockchain applications that they believe will massively benefit society. Cryptocurrency may have acquired a bad name due to the countless scam schemes and opportunistic investors that have emerged in its wake, but they are determined to work around this problem.
Seomun told Block Asia, “There is an influx of investment in a very short period of time to make a profit. Traders and investors focus on large short term gains instead of long term.
“We want to take time to collaborate with other industries. So we can develop applications and new technology and investors invest for the long term.”
Ddengle.com embodies this ethos as well. “Ddengle is unique because its members focus on mining and development instead of trading. Most other forums talk a lot about trading,” Seomun said.
And staying true to the community spirit of Ddengle.com upon which it was founded, the advantage of ESN is that it is specialized for community use. It is being used in ways such as commodity trading and community activity compensation.
For example, Ddengle.com forum participants who post and comment are rewarded with ESN tokens whenever they do so. In this way, ESN builds online communities based on cryptocurrency and activates social networks.
Lee and Seomun also shared about the intricacies of being based in Korea. Seomun told Block Asia, “The Korean market itself is very closed and not open to the public. It is not easy for the company to just focus on the Korean market. In the coin business, the traders are often international.”
Lee added, “Any company interested in the Korean market can contact us to connect them to the community, especially those doing technology.”
Many applications of ESN are already in the making.
Lee said, “Most of the blockchain companies develop their coins to make money out of ICO. ESN is not the case. We develop ESN with members of the community to build applications for it. For example, we are working with Webtoon on a payment system. We’re also looking at education and gaming.”
Besides Webtoon, ESN has partnered with other companies such as Korea Funding, to develop a peer-to-peer financial settlement system, and MoviGame, to create games in which coin is mined for the first time.
After all, perhaps when the cryptocurrency bubbles and the hype surrounding it have died down, it is the various innovative applications of blockchain technology that will be here to stay.