[IT Chosun Column] #1 Samsung Electronics, Cryptocurrency, and Independence Movement Day
Samsung Electronics introduced Galaxy S10 on Mobile World Congress 2019 held in Barcelona, Spain, from February 25th to February 28th. The global audience was very surprised to learn that Galaxy S10 officially has cryptocurrency wallet feature.
Currently, the government of South Korea suppresses the cryptocurrency business. The public opinion on cryptocurrency is that they are useless. Then why global enterprise Samsung Electronics mount useless cryptocurrency wallet feature that has negative views on their popular smartphone? What does that mean? The decision of Samsung Electronics contains ‘naturalness’ and ‘bitterness.’
First of all, let’s think of the meaning of mounting cryptocurrency wallet on smartphones. Smartphone is personal mobile device that most adults use. Cryptocurrency wallets make it easier to store, receive, transfer all sort of cryptocurrencies. Mounting cryptocurrency wallet on smartphones can popularize cryptocurrency. Also, if it has feature to exchange cryptocurrencies between users, it is easy to expand its service to DEX (Decentralized Exchange). DEX, too, would take a groundbreaking role to spread cryptocurrencies.
In that sense, global smartphone manufacturer Samsung Electronics mounted cryptocurrency wallet on their phone, thus it is inevitable to be an issue.
There is this kind of joke. If a famous global enterprise CEO said to the public, ‘we think cryptocurrencies are garbage, thus we are not preparing anything about it’, it actually means ‘we think cryptocurrencies are the most important things, and we have been preparing a lot for them.’
J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon claimed that Bitcoin is fraud. But soon J.P. Morgan launched their cryptocurrency. Facebook prohibited advertisement of cryptocurrencies. But Facebook, too, said that more than 50 developers are working on applying cryptocurrencies. Many large enterprises of Korea are preparing unobtrusively due to suppression of the government, and there are a lot of cases.
This is natural. The case of actively using cryptocurrencies and the following services on their business is not just a special case of Samsung Electronics. Its field varies as finance, manufacture, distribution, payment, A.I, etc.
What is the cause of bitterness? The government of South Korea’s view on cryptocurrency is rather negative. They indirectly suppress cryptocurrencies by prohibiting ICO and regulating cryptocurrency exchange. According to the government’s judge, cryptocurrencies are either unnecessary or evil to the society.
Then why did Samsung Electronics embrace cryptocurrencies rejected by the government and the society? Did they made a mistake? What kind of enterprise is Samsung Electronics? It surpassed Apple, USA that kept its position as the enterprise with the most business operating profits and became the manufacturing company that earns the most in the world. In the same period, neither the biggest distribution company Walmart nor the biggest automobile company Toyota could reach the half of Samsung Electronics’ operating profits. The annual amount of tax Samsung Electronics paid to the government is over 10 trillion won (about 8.8 billion USD). This is over 14% of 70 trillion won, the total amount of corporate tax collected from 800,000 corporations.
Let’s consider it again. Is Samsung Electronics wrong, or is the government wrong? The case of Samsung Electronics mounting the cryptocurrency wallet clearly shows that the view of government and the view of enterprises are different. The businesses continuously innovates the present and invests on futures to survive. It is an undeniable fact that such businesses chose blockchains and cryptocurrencies to survive tomorrow.
If the choice of enterprises is correct, the government should respect and actively support them. If it is an inevitable trend, it would be more wise choice to make laws and systems to prevent side effects such as ICO frauds and actively promote the technology. Side effects exist everywhere. They can’t succeed if they are afraid of failure.
Many experts say that blockchains and cryptocurrencies are the second internet. This implies that it has power to reorganize the order of global economics and society. They should not be interpreted as simple technologies.
This year happens to be 100th anniversary of Korea’s Independent Movement. See how the history of us resulted in when we chose to isolate ourselves by not being able to read the flow of the world. Of course, at the time, they were confident they have made the right choice. But it was wrong, and we too much blood were shed for the price. A hundred years passed, and there are still problems like comfort women conflicts and the division of Korea. Like how Japan quickly accepted western culture and joined the powers, the world accepted blockchains and cryptocurrencies, institutionalized them and systematically developing them.
The only governments that nationally suppress cryptocurrencies are the government of South Korea and the government of China. Is it an excessive thought to see it as a dejavu of a hundred years ago?
※ The article by external author may not coincide to IT Joseon’s editing policy.
James Jung is the CEO of blockchain specialized company Delio and Croschain Technology. He’s been a management specialist in the field of Information Technology, and working as a blockchain columnist. He’s was the grand prize recipient at Web Award Korea, and many other awards.
[Originally written in CHOSUNIT 03.07.2019 in http://it.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/03/07/2019030700715.html]
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