01. To work as
Head of Advisory, Jackson Ra
Q. What is the role of the Advisory part in the Finance Service Group?
The Advisory part of Chain Partners creates new business opportunities. To this end, we have established various partnerships with projects and investors from home and abroad. We search for new business ideas by identifying trends in a rapidly evolving market, and by building networks with industry leading companies or VCs.
Our team was re-organized to become Chain Partners Advisory in January 2019 in order to expand the competitiveness of our original Tokenomia team, which was an ICO advisory.
Q. What positions are included in the Advisory Part? Are certain capabilities necessary for the position?
There are currently three parts: BD (Business Developer), which plans and develops new business opportunities; Operations, which supports the operating needs of the business; and Research, which analyzes trends and collects and monitors market information. Three capabilities are needed for the work here.
First, you must be performance-oriented. You need to be able to create new opportunities in the market and translate them into substantial outcomes. Currently, our team is creating business opportunities by discovering and reaching out to promising overseas projects that can build synergy with our company. Furthermore, we provide business advice to projects in Korea preparing to venture abroad.
Second, excellent communication skills are required. This is because meeting with investors, partners and project managers, and building good relations with them, is a significant part of the work. You need to have communication skills that convince and build positive business relations. Proficiency in English and Chinese especially comes in handy because we often meet with foreign partners.
Last but not least, you need to have a basic level of understanding about blockchain and the digital assets market.
Q. What is your dream, Jackson?
I have always been interested in technological development and history. I hope to witness a historic moment first-hand and take part in it. One case that illustrates my ambition is the time I came to Korea as a US army soldier. Instead of getting a job like everyone else after graduating from university, I felt that a historic event between South and North Korea was imminent in 2001. Of course, regretfully, the two Koreas have yet to unite, but ever since I have chosen a career path that positioned me closer to something important.
One of my biggest dreams is to be on-site when a historic event occurs. IT technology has seen a transition from the development of the PC to the Internet and to mobile. I believe that blockchain is the future, the next-step beyond. My goal is to participate in and contribute to this giant Tech Wave of technological development.
If opportunity allows, I aspire to be a founder, starting a company that can improve the quality of life with the use of blockchain. For example, I am greatly interested in building financial service technologies and for instance enhancing the lives of unbanked people, the many in the world who are not able to participate in the banking system. I hope to become a business leader who can have a positive influence on those in need.
02. Blockchain is
Q. How did you first step into the blockchain market?
I believe that digital assets will become the future of money. Already, paper currency is rarely used. In the near future, digital assets (cryptocurrency) will replace many traditional tools of finance. Back in 2013, I was in Korea and heard a very interesting presentation on the prospect of the cryptocurrency market. I bought $10 worth of bitcoin right away. Coincidentally, the US government first officially mentioned bitcoin at the time, just as I began to study the potential of the market. Although it was only pocket money, the fact that the price of Bitcoin surged more than 10 times in a few days grabbed my attention.
Later on, I joined an IoT company in Silicon Valley where everyone was talking about blockchain. I knew in my heart that blockchain would be the next to follow in a line of technological development from PCs, the Internet, to mobile. Currently I am investing huge amounts of time to build use cases in this industry. I think we still need about two decades before the blockchain's full story is complete. As both the PC and mobile technology took a minimum of 10~15 years to become mainstream, I think we will have to wait a little while before practical use cases.
Q. Are there any challenges coming from the fact that the regulatory environment here in Korea is different from that of Silicon Valley? What do you find the most difficult working in the blockchain industry?
I think Korea is quick to follow in the steps of the US in terms of policy. As the US has yet to solve a myriad of problems, it will also take a long time before Korea can reach a certain point. I think such challenges are commonly experienced by all industries in their early stages. The most difficult part for me is the fact that the price of cryptocurrencies tend to have a huge impact on the entire industry.
I think people in this field across the world will agree with me on this. Volatility is high owing to the market's unique characteristics, and because everything is still in its beginning stage. This is also why I mentioned that about two decades will be needed before we can see the full story of blockchain.
Q. Will you share any memorable experience you’ve had in the blockchain and digital assets market?
I've read a number of academic publications to gain in-depth knowledge about blockchain. There were two projects in particular whose teams I personally wanted to meet, and I was able to meet with the developers in my first week at Chain Partners. All the instances where I met with CEOs and developers of promising projects to establish partnerships made me realize that I have come to the right place at Chain Partners. After the organizational restructuring during early 2019, I became the Head of the Advisory within the Finance Service Group. As much as I am interested in witnessing the history of technological development, I also pay close attention to how capital is impacting the market as I am a business developer. I am concentrating on new opportunities that are created when blockchain technology and the financial industry intertwine. I feel as if I am standing in a once-in-a-lifetime moment of history where finance and the IT industries meet together.
03. Chain Partners is
“Part of History”
Q. How did you first join Chain Partners?
I received great offers from many companies and start-ups but decided to join Chain Partners after meeting with its members. As someone very accustomed to a fast-moving start-up culture in Seoul and Silicon Valley, I felt most at home in Chain Partners. I was searching for a start-up that could become the next unicorn, like a Google or Facebook, leading the market and quickly responding to new trends. Chain Partners had a good reputation as a company, as a trusted brand in Korea's blockchain industry, and it also had a corporate culture that pioneered multiple new frontiers. I was convinced I had come to the right place.
Q. What are the three most satisfying factors you found after working at Chain Partners?
Although there are many more than just three, I will try my best to narrow them down.
One of the biggest plusses comes from the colleagues on my team. Everyone at Chain Partners has a strong sense of responsibility and incredible capabilities. In particular, members in the Advisory part all have excellent fluency in foreign languages such as Chinese and English. Based on language proficiency and responsibility, each member has what it takes to expand our business all across the world. There was a time when our team had to communicate with Chinese project managers in order to develop a business case, and I was very impressed that we could easily transition. I had not experienced something like this back in Silicon Valley where we all spoke English or in code.
Second is the expertise of our engineering group. A group of highly skilled developers in the field of blockchain sits right next to me. This proximity makes collaboration much easier when I need to plan projects or seek technology advice. One of the strengths of Chain Partners is that developers and the Business Development (BD) part can actively collaborate to launch projects with great quality.
Lastly, I want to mention the company vision. It is 'thinking long-term, looking beyond the excessive profits gained by many blockchain ventures, and building blockchain technologies that real people want.' I think the mission directed towards creating a sound ecosystem and improving people's lives rather than profiting from selling certain products is making our company stronger and healthier. Chain Partners will grow into a global leader with a sustainable vision of contributing to the development of a sound blockchain ecosystem.