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Dunamu, the firm that operates South Korea's Upbit exchange, hosted its blockchain conference UDC 2021 from Sept. 1 to 2.
Jin Chang-ho, who heads the blockchain division of management consulting firm Kearney Korea, spoke during the first day. He manages the firm's consulting services for the blockchain and digital asset industries.
Jin headed Kearney’s consulting for the Bank of Korea's CBDC research, which lasted from November 2020 to April 2021.
During his speech at UDC 2021, Jin focused on CBDCs and their role in financial innovation.
"The future of CBDCs lies in creating various financial services that embrace the private financial ecosystem," Jin said.
According to Jin, countries around the world that are pursuing CBDCs fall into three strategic categories. The first focuses on developing a CBDC before other countries in order to lead the charge. China falls into this category.
The second focuses on using CBDCs to bolster the existing financial system. The US and Europe are taking this route.
The third seeks to use CBDCs as a way to bridge conventional finance and new financial ecosystems. Singapore and Hong Kong fall into this category.
"I think it'd be beneficial for South Korea to pursue this third strategy, of using CBDCs to bridge conventional finance with new innovation," Jin said.
He brought up the topic of digital wallets to illustrate.
If CBDCs become normalized, then most individuals and entities will have digital wallets. These wallets will not only store CBDCs but can be used to link users to new financial services.
"People could use their CBDC wallets to subscribe to automated investing services run by smart contracts or use them for micro-payments," he said.
According to Jin, CBDCs have great potential because they’re state-backed, meaning their use and future won’t be clouded by regulatory shifts and uncertainty.
"If you examine recent phenomena such as the Korean government's covid relief payments, CBDCs have the potential to facilitate financial innovation in a way that private cryptocurrencies can't," he said.
In the end, Jin claims, cryptocurrencies and CBDCs will end up complementing each other.
UDC 2021 articles are sponsored by Upbit.