Chimaek, Somaek, and Karaoke on the Korean Peninsula
Landing in Busan and stepping out of the plane, I felt like I was walking into the flaming center of an incandescent bulb just a smidge cooler than a supernova. The somewhat hazy sky seen through the window gave no indication of the incredible heat carried by the dense air. Bolting through the airport and onto the first taxi, we made our way into the city on the monochrome highways of South Korea.
Having made the unfortunate decision to choose our hotel by proximity to the convention center, BloodyEwe and I, Global Advisors to the XPChain project found ourselves at the “Best In City Hotel.” After managing to check into our rooms, Bloody and I settled in to wait for Harao-san to arrive, followed by the XPChain Korea team. Somehow, I had managed to end up with the “Best in Hotel Room” in the “Best in City Hotel,” and so we congregated in my room to wait. Bloody and I tapped away on our computers while Harao worked nonstop on the Japanese Discord — no matter where we were, he was ALWAYS in touch with his community. We took turns admiring the single piece of art in the hotel room, a small picture of a piece of broccoli. We asked
SatoshiGame if she could order pizza and said anything was fine as long as it didn’t have pineapple. Half an hour later, we went down to the lobby of Best in City Hotel because the Best in Hotel Security did not allow pizza to come to the room on its own. We were greeted by a pepperoni and cheese pizza with a sweet-potato filled crust and a broccoli and pineapple pizza — this was entirely appropriate for the décor in what we began to refer to as the Broccoli Suite.”
The next day, arriving at the Blockchain Expo Korea at the Busan Port International Terminal Exhibition & Convention Center, we were front row at the ribbon cutting. Officials from around Asia recognized the importance of blockchain innovation in the future of social and technological development opened the event for visitors. As we toured the hall and spoke with other projects from around the world, we met and talked to the team from BaaSid (Blockchain as a Service: ID — it doesn’t make sense unless it is spelled out), a group working to tokenize ginger, ETAcoin from Thailand, Quiztok, ZMine, and other projects and services. Talking to everyone reminded me of how much I love blockchain projects and the whole global ecosystem. There has
been no other time in human history in which there has been such a free flow of ideas and assistance as each person contributed their tiny mark onto the projects they passed. I have found that in blockchain, more than any other industry, there is a passion to see progress take place with much less of a specific concern for who gets credit for the development. This mindset is a natural outgrowth from the open-source ethos which is the home of all blockchain development. Having the great-grandfather of blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto, anonymously publish his first paper and then functionally withdraw from the public eye sets an excellent precedent for the freedom of information and freedom of contribution in blockchain projects. Most blockchain projects are open source and free for others to improve upon as they see fit. It is through this sharing of information and ideas that blockchain is beginning to take the world by storm as people horizontally develop projects to serve new markets and use cases.
However, as cool as all of this was, the REAL reason I came to Korea was to meet the community and to speak about the responsibility of blockchain projects to listen to their users. It was my great honor and privilege to spend time with the XPChain Korea team, meet more members of the community, and especially to meet Harao-san for the first time.
Regarding the community, one of the things that impressed me the most was to meet two women, both in their 50’s who had come to the XPChain booth to inquire about receiving the XPC Airdrop. When most people think of “crypto people” they don’t usually picture women in their 50s installing QT wallets and updating node lists. However, this chance meeting drove home the point that blockchain projects transcend generational and socioeconomic differences; there has never been a movement in history which was as capable of erasing these divisions. Should they desire it, there is a seat at the table for anyone who wants to be part of the blockchain family.
The second day of the conference it was a joy to stand on the stage and to tell the world more about the XPChain project. When the XPChain team first announced that they were creating their own project and would be airdropping XPC to holders of eXperiencePoints, there was a good deal of concern in some sectors of the community that it would merely be a fork or would simply flame out. At the time, while it was tempting to respond directly to critics, we decided to continue working and doing what we knew needed to be done to create one of the most robust blockchain projects under development. We are still hard at work today!
As we continue to work and to engage with the community, people are beginning to realize that we are very serious about our mission in the blockchain space. With over 4000 submitted airdrop applications, a slam-dunk win for inclusion to the Avacus platform, a growing community, thousands of Discord users, active Telegrams, and a project rapidly approaching completion, it is beautiful to see the former detractors coming over to express interest in the project and for the rest of the community to realize that we are serious. To stand on stage and speak openly to the community — to pour a drink for community members — to exchange high fives and hugs — is my great honor and a testament to the fact that we are here to stay. XPChain is here to show the blockchain world how to build a strong community and how to set a new standard for transparency.
At the end of the day, we met once again for chimaek (chicken & beer), somaek (soju & beer), conversation, and karaoke. It is entirely possible that yours truly might have blown his voice out on a heavy metal rendition of Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit, in between watching the Korean team and Harao-san singing (Harao is GOOD!). It was my great honor to spend the night with the team and members of the community. There, we were not there as people separated between “team” and “community” and on opposite sides of a table, we were a family sharing food and drinks and our passion for a technology that is reshaping the world. It is our honor and privilege to be part of this family, and nothing makes us happier than to know that at the end of the day, we know we can depend on our blockchain family.
So, the next time you know that XPChain is going to be at an event, come see us and join the family! You will meet the people you may know by screennames, but when you meet us you will see our faces and hear our voices. I may be Uncle BitBender to team members’ children, but I am no cartoon avatar!
Peace and Love.
P.S. You can find out more about XPChain by going to XPChain.io and by joining our Discord here: https://discord.gg/jcXjNb3