January 2, 2018
Chief executive of StormX blockchain venture Simon Yu, also known as Yu Byung-hoon in Korea, has made millions from his company he founded together with software developer Calvin Hsieh.
The cryptocurrency, which raised $32 million in a December ICO, is a blockchain payment platform that supports employers of freelancers. About 10,000 investors came from around 140 countries in the ICO round. One of the notable investors is Anthony Diiorio, co-founder of Ethereum, who is on the advisory board.
Hashed, a Korea-based cryptocurrency investment firm, injected 1.5 billion won ($1.4 million) into the investment. CEO Kim Seo-Joon said one of the reasons behind this venture was Yu’s work ethic and personal charm.
StormX is one of the many blockchain-based ventures by Koreans after ICON (ranked 23rd largest by market cap), Stellar (ranked 10th by market cap) and eDonkey peer-to-peer file sharing platform.
The company wants to connect employers and employees to eradicate inefficiencies in the freelancing marketplace as the 40 percent of the global workforce will work remotely off their laptops.
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in an interview with Daily, he says
“Even for us in our development stage, some of our developers are in Brazil, and our customer service is in the Philippines. This outsourcing is costly when you do it through fiat currency. We have to make payments of as little as a few cents for certain jobs that we call micro-tasks and if we relied on traditional payment systems, transaction fees would be too high for the outsourcing to make sense”.
The Korean-American from Seattle, who attended the University of Washington. Therefore started selling meals to his fellow students in a food truck business he started with $100 loan but later made millions.
Yu came across Bitcoins when working at a bank after college.
He also started his blockchain journey with CakeCodes’ BitMaker — an app that rewards users with Bitcoin and Ethereum for trying new products. For instance, partnered with Uber so Bitmaker users could get Bitcoin and Ethereum as rewards for trying out Uber for the first time. Bitmaker has more than 300,000 users worldwide.
“While working for a bank, I realized how inefficient the banking system was due to steep fees and slow transaction speeds. But blockchain technology can essentially change banking system what the Internet did to media. When you outsource jobs globally, some different transaction fees follow when you do it through fiat currency. StormX is trying to eliminate such costs by using Ethereum and off-block transactions simultaneously”.
Bitmaker was renamed Storm Play after the two start StormX. StormX will begin by focusing on lowering fees and expanding job market.
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“In the initial stage, we will mainly focus on expediting transactions, lowering fees and expanding the job market. So that employers can hire from the global stage by using blockchain,” he said. “The next step is “gamification of micro-tasks”. People enjoy playing games because there are elements in games that show the more time you invest. However, the better or more rewards you get. Game designers create a metric system that takes playing time. Besides the level of difficulty into consideration when they develop a game”.
He said in the interview that, although many Koreans a while ago viewed Bitcoin as a payment method for drugs. The attitude is changing according to his experience at last year’s annual Money 20/20 conference. More people are now committing to blockchain due to what it offers.
“Because of the boom, more people are taking an interest in what’s actually behind the coins and their prices,” he said. “I think the hype that we saw this year is good news for the blockchain industry.”
While Korea has prohibited initial coin offerings, Yu hopes it is not permanent. He said there is a need for regulation.
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“Without a set guideline and direction, developers will be confusing every time something new pops out,” he said. “I hope the Korean government’s prohibition of initial coin offerings is not permanent. ICOs is an important motivational tool for blockchain developers to commit their time and effort.”