Int’l Conference on Banking Regulation in Jeju Island

Last week, I attended the 42nd Meeting of the EMEAP Working Group in Banking Supervision from August 30th to September 1st. It was held in Jeju Island, so only an hour long flight from Seoul! The conference was hosted by Bank of Korea, and my proud co-worker Ash was nominated as an outside speaker.

Here we are at Gimpo Airport, ready to depart!

Packets provided by BOK. The conference was held at Lotte Hotel, so we stayed there as well.

Look at the sky!

View from the hotel room. Beautiful! Jeju Island is such an amazing place. Highly recommended.

Official invitation and packet prepared by BOK.

Now we go on to enjoy what Jeju is famous for!

Perfect dinner. Jeju is famous for its pork — especially for the thick meat of black pig. Also, the seaweed soup is popular, especially since sea urchin is in it. It makes the soup more deep in flavor.

Also THIS is famous. Rice drink called Makgulri — but with Jeju’s special peanuts inside! The taste is so great that we had another bottle towards the end of the trip.

Picture of myself ☺

And another one the next day! It is always difficult (and suffocating) to be dressed in a formal suit.

Ash and me. We make a pretty good team since we complement each other— I like the fact that we can exchange ideas 100% in English.

Ash gave a talk to the participants, who are mostly involved in the regulation/supervision sector of government-owned banks. Ash explained the basic concepts of blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, ICOs, and current and upcoming issues related to regulation. Since there is a lack of regulations with regards to cryptocurrencies and the general blockchain industry, some take advantage of the flexible system. However, Ash stressed that proper and efficient regulation from a government-level is necessary and helpful for industry growth. If it provides the right incentives, players in the cryptoworld would willingly abide by the regulations. If they are regulated too strictly, they will always find another way to evade the regulations ( such as moving to another country to execute their project, etc), so it would actually be countereffective.

The participants at the conference were awed at what Ash had to say. I personally was astounded by how deep the gap in perspective is between the traditional government banks and cryptoworld- however, it was great to see that the officials showed tremendous interest in the new trend and that they were willing to compromise and come up with a wise solution.

The sky looks surreal. Beautiful!

At the formal dinner hosted by BOK. The location was at SEAAS Hotel.

But we decided to try Jeju-style food while we are at Jeju, so we went to Hyupjae Beach and tried another type of Makgulri and food. So delish!

I loved the sea at night. A bit daunting, but so refreshing.

The next day at breakfast! It was Japanese style which I like.

Before leaving Jeju, we randomly decided to visit Teddy Bear Museum, which was a 5 minute walk from the hotel. SOOOO many teddy bears! Never seen that many in my life.

So majestic. lol

And then we had to head back to Gimpo Airport to return to Seoul.

What a wonderful, insightful business trip! Since I am a international policy major, I am extremely interested in the process of policymaking, and the factors that help or hinder efficient decision-making. In the world of blockchain, since it is a completely new industry with no regulations, it is practically constructing something out of nothing. The space is practically like a blank piece of paper. So the process of getting policy/regulations experts involved in this world is just interesting to watch. I will continuously follow up on regulations/governance related issues, and the intersection between cryptoworld and International Relations.

End of story! More stories to come..