[Interview] Lee Jung-han, CEO of LN Venture, “Launch mainnet this year, expand overseas expansion…Goal to turn a profit next year”
Mainnet ‘ReapChain’, expanded application to fintech NFT platforms, etc.
Focusing on expanding the blockchain ecosystem…Promoting overseas markets centered on Southeast Asia.
[Seoul=Newspim] Reporter Yang Tae-hoon = “LN Venture Group is planning to officially launch the mainnet in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest. Use the mainnet for the fintech platform called ReapPay and the NFT platform called Metamafia, and spur overseas expansion. We plan to add. Until now, we have invested most of our profits in R&D. From next year, our goal is to turn into a surplus in our financial statements.”
Lee Jung-han, CEO of LN Venture Group, emphasized this in an interview with Newspim on the 16th.
LN Venture Group is a company specializing in developing blockchain-based software. In 2014, based on ‘Coinvest,’ which develops blockchain security technology and operates a cryptocurrency exchange, expanded its business area to ‘ReapPay,’ which is in charge of the payment business, and ‘YL Solution,’ which is doing offline VAN business. In 2016, it was raised to LN Venture Group.
CEO Lee Jung-han said, “LN Venture Group is a professional blockchain developer and will officially launch the mainnet (Reapchain) in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year at the earliest.” We hired them to develop the mainnet for three years, and we have been working hard to carry out a proper blockchain project in Korea.”
In addition, “LN Venture Group invested about 20 people only for mainnet development personnel. Although the labor cost burden on developers increased due to the annual salary increase led by game companies last year, LN Venture Group secured additional core engineers and devoted itself to mainnet development. “LNVenture Group plans to focus on securing its blockchain ecosystem,” he added.
The project that the LNVenture Group prioritizes through the mainnet ‘ReapChain’ is the advancement of ReapPay and MetaMafia. ReapPay uses ReapChain to launch a new service that combines a simple payment system and Defi, and Meta Mafia, which joins the ReapChain ecosystem and upgrades the NFT community function by adding InterPlantary File System (IPFS) technology.
CEO Lee said, “We want to create a Blockchain as a Service (BasS) that can properly develop DApps by making ReapChain into a kind of operating system.” As an independent project, we plan to use the mainnet for the fintech platform ReapPay and the NFT platform Metamafia. After proving the performance and stability of the mainnet, the goal is to supply it to the public sector and companies that need it. “, he emphasized.
“MetaMafia is a concept that does not just express the membership of a fan club, that is, the NFT image of a celebrity, by using the data held by the celebrity, but puts membership-related functions into it, for example, fan meeting membership, etc. “In the case of fintech, we expect that the introduction of fintech will become active in the financial sector. For example, banks operate closed servers to hold assets and to secure security. The cost is also astronomical. If we provide the mainnet developed by the LN Venture Group here, we can greatly reduce maintenance costs as it is a decentralized structure without an operating server itself.”
In addition, “LN Venture Group is developing a hybrid blockchain. The reason for adopting this is that public blockchain has limitations in actual use, so LN Venture Group thought of a convergence type with a private blockchain.” “Since the public domain is private, LN Venture Group plans to release a product called a Double-chain with both private and public characteristics shortly. In the past, Hyperledger was widely used in the public domain, but it had limitations in performance. But it is quite difficult for the government to introduce the public. So, the demand for convergence type is growing, and I think LN Venture Group can appeal enough.”
LN Venture Group plans to expand its business area into the field of digital medicine as a future food. In addition, it intends to accelerate overseas market entry, which was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, from next year.
CEO Lee said, “LN Venture Group is paying attention to digital treatment. A proposal came in from a partner company on good terms, and the company is providing technical support and discussing business. It is a method of recording medical information data in the blockchain. “We are using convergence blockchain technology. So, for example, a doctor can prescribe a digital treatment and treat the patient’s eating habits through a digital treatment platform with a change in lifestyle without prescribing a specific drug,” he explained.
In addition, “LN Venture Group is currently looking at the Southeast Asian market as a target and plans to accelerate its overseas expansion from next year.” We considered the overseas fintech market and decided to target the Southeast Asian fintech market. We plan to enter the Southeast Asian market with a Dex-type blockchain platform that can be completely decentralized.”
The following is a Q&A with Lee Jung-han, CEO of LN Venture Group.
▲ Thank you for agreeing to the interview. First, please introduce LN Venture Group, the company.
- LN Venture Group is a specialized blockchain developer. Centered on the parent company, LN Venture Group, it operates Coinvest, a decentralized cryptocurrency investment exchange, and ReapPay, a fintech company. Coinvest was first established in 2014; then, a blockchain-related developer was created and grouped into LN Venture in 2016. LN Venture Group secured blockchain technology in earnest in 2019 and started mainnet development.
LN Venture Group entered the blockchain business to create a solution that can be used in practice in the fintech field. The LN Venture Group previously used Bitcoin and Ethereum as the mainnet but decided that practical use was impossible and proceeded with its mainnet development. LN Venture Group’s mainnet is scheduled to be officially launched in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year at the earliest.
The LN Venture Group made a profit while investing in Bitcoin in 2012. So I am very grateful for blockchain. This is why LN Venture Group jumped into blockchain mainnet development. Although it is a startup, we want to secure and give back the proper blockchain technology as much as we have gained opportunities through blockchain.
Accordingly, the LN Venture Group started with the consensus structure and hired high-level engineers to develop the mainnet for three years to fix the problems of existing blockchains. Usually, startups are not able to promote due to cost issues. Still, fortunately, LN Venture Group benefited from blockchain investment, so it could afford to pursue R&D on its own.
Korea is an information and communication powerhouse. However, blockchain is evaluated as an underdeveloped country. This is because existing blockchain projects did not focus on actual technology development. LN Venture Group has been working hard to carry out a proper blockchain project in Korea.
▲ It doesn’t seem easy for a startup to develop a blockchain mainnet with only internal capabilities directly.
- LN Venture Group put in about 20 people only for mainnet development. For mainnet development, we need to create an algorithm core and a high-level programmer. We are also called core engineers. LN Venture Group focused on mainnet development by securing additional core engineers, although the labor cost burden on developers increased due to salary increases led by game companies last year. It seems very meaningful that a startup is so committed to mainnet development.
▲ What are your plans for the future?
- LN Venture Group is developing a hybrid blockchain. The reason for adopting this is that public blockchains have limitations in practical use. LN Venture Group thought of a convergence type with a private blockchain. It is to link fast processing speed in private to industrial use. Security, which is the problem of personnel, is trying to secure transparency in the part where it is stored with reliability. The blockchain intends to increase security by expanding to various nodes through a distributed ledger. If data recorded in private are unconditionally recorded in public, a kind of convergence type can be created to implement a safe and fast blockchain.
Also, LN Venture Group plans to focus on securing its blockchain ecosystem. We want to create a blockchain as a service (BasS) that can adequately develop DApps by making the practically usable blockchain mainnet into a kind of operating system. LN Venture Group plans to utilize the mainnet for the Fintech platform ReapPay and the non-fungible token (NFT) platform Metamafia as its project to prove the performance of the mainnet. After confirming the performance and stability of the mainnet, the goal is to supply it to the public sector and businesses that need it.
As the public domain is private, LN Venture Group plans to release a product called a middle chain with both private and public characteristics shortly. In the past, Hyperledger was widely used in the public domain, but there was a limit to its performance. However, it is pretty difficult for the government to introduce the public. As a result, the demand for convergence seems to be growing, and I think LN Venture Group can appeal enough.
So, until this year, we plan to focus on advancing the technologies we have been promoting through R&D and expanding the ecosystem. From next year, we plan to convert service-type platforms into profit-type ones and focus on securing a practical ecosystem after opening our mainnet.
▲ What is the business status of the NFT platform ‘Meta Mafia’?
- Views on NFTs have changed a lot recently. Previously, NFTs had commercial success with just the name NFT. But now, like blockchain, views on NFT-related projects are changing.
NFTs can be issued easily by anyone. However, just because an NFT is published does not mean the price will rise unconditionally. The original purpose of NFT is for credentials. However, in this process, speculation that the price will increase unconditionally as it becomes a box office hit has become more robust. I think that is the fundamental reason for the collapse of NFT prices. Currently, many related companies are trying to secure value by giving functions such as membership to NFTs. As a result, I think that the idea that NFT prices can rise just as coin prices have risen in the past has almost disappeared.
LN Venture Group’s MetaMafia is a concept that utilizes the data held by celebrities to include fan club membership; that is, it not just expresses the celebrity’s NFT image but puts membership-related functions into it. For example, we are preparing a project that sells features such as fan meeting memberships.
▲ What is the difference between other blockchain companies and LN Venture Group?
- The difference between LN Venture Group and other companies is that LN Venture Group is developing blockchain using internal assets rather than operating the company through external investment. Of course, LN Venture Group also needs to receive external investment to grow continuously. However, I think it is necessary to attract external investment after the company has a basic foundation. LN Venture Group is a company that develops practically usable blockchain technology. Two-thirds of the workforce is made up of engineers. Therefore, you can see it as a blockchain-specialized technology company. LN Venture Group developed the mainnet for direct use by the company. Of course, there is also the purpose of securing an external ecosystem through this mainnet, but it was created with great care for direct use in our service. It is not a simple development, but we have been developing meticulously together with the Seoul National University Distributed System Lab for three years. Rather than simply forking the existing blockchain, we focused on solving fundamental problems. Of course, after the official launch of the mainnet, the technology will have to be verified. Still, the company devoted itself to developing a proper mainnet, spending 80% of the total investment on mainnet development. The difference seems to be that it is a company with professional blockchain technology.
▲ I wonder if there are any fields that LN Venture Group considers as future sources.
- LN Venture Group is paying attention to the field of digital medicine. This is an unfamiliar concept in Korea. Coincidentally, a proposal came in from a partner company on good terms, and the company is providing technical support while discussing the business. It is a method of recording medical information data on a blockchain. We are using convergence blockchain technology. It is a structure in which sensitive information is hidden in private, and data that needs to be shared is used in public.
Digital therapy is already active overseas. Usually, when we think of medicine, we think of medicine, but digital medicine is a concept that can be treated through healthcare technology. For example, a doctor can prescribe a digital treatment and treat the patient’s eating habits through a digital treatment platform with a change in lifestyle without specifying a specific drug. Therefore, digital therapeutics are attracting attention as a new food source for foreign pharmaceutical companies.
▲ I understand that you have recently obtained a patent for a distributed file storage system (InterPlantary File System IPFS). How will IPFS be applied to future projects?
- If blockchain is to distribute databases, IPFS can be understood as distributing and storing data. It is a distributed storage rather than a specific server, a concept that can preserve files in a decentralized way. LN Venture Group acquired a patent for the methodological part of the storage method for IPFS to add the ability to store IPFS as an additional function in ReapChain and is currently applying it. IPFS can be used for metaverse data, especially image data.
▲ From the global economic downturn to high exchange rates, high-interest rates, and high prices, the situation at home and abroad is difficult.
- LN Venture Group intends to focus on the NFT platform Meta Mafia business next year. The Meta Mafia platform is a concept that uses fandom to operate NFTs in a community space. If the user database owned by celebrities is brought into the LN Venture Group, I think the user base for basic NFTs will naturally gather. The company is currently in discussions with many celebrities. When the actual platform comes out, I think it will be able to attract enough investment through technology proof, even in an external crisis.
These days, it is expressed as a blockchain cooler. I see it as a phenomenon that appears because I can’t create an actual profit model. I think it is the result of trying to receive investment without any effects, either by selling and selling coins to realize profits or by attracting investment from outside. Unlike this, LN Venture Group is currently developing blockchain technology and producing related results. When the mainnet developed by the company is officially released, it is expected that fintech will be actively introduced in the financial sector. For example, a bank operates a closed server to hold assets, and the cost to secure security is astronomical. If the mainnet developed by LN Venture Group is provided here, maintenance costs can be significantly reduced as it is a decentralized structure without an operating server itself.
▲ I am also curious about your overseas business plan.
- LN Venture Group is currently looking at the Southeast Asian market as a target. We plan to accelerate our overseas expansion from next year. LN Venture Group was the first to start a blockchain business related to fintech. So naturally, I came to consider the overseas fintech market using ReapPay as the target market and decided to target the Southeast Asian fintech market.
We plan to enter the Southeast Asian market as a Dex-type blockchain platform that can be completely decentralized. Unfortunately, the banking system in Southeast Asia is still in a situation where the server interworking network is weak compared to Korea. However, preparations for entering the overseas market have been completed to some extent. This is because the company initially prepared to enter the overseas fintech market and then changed its strategy for a while due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next year, we plan to expand our business with bases in Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam. An overseas branch is also scheduled to be established in Singapore next year.
▲ I am curious about the business performance target for next year.
- Until now, LN Venture Group has invested most of its profits in R&D. The goal is to turn into a surplus in the financial statements from next year. It is also to separate subsidiaries’ business according to their respective areas of expertise. From next year, we plan to let our subsidiaries run their businesses independently. For example, ReapPay specializes in fintech, and Coinvest aims to grow the company in a form dedicated to developing blockchain technology.
▲ This is the last question. Recruitment of talented people is also essential for the company to develop continuously. How is the company atmosphere?
- LN Venture Group has a very horizontal corporate culture. In addition, all executives and employees form a consensus and have a corporate culture of cooperating so that each other can develop. In particular, the development job group has the advantage that all senior-level developers can share their capabilities and learn a lot in practice thanks to a work environment in which they cooperate. I am trying to pay a lot of attention to welfare, working hours, and other settings that can create a work-life balance for employees.
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