CEO of Hanbitco
Our guest today is CEO of Hanbitco SungA Kim who is the first Korean female CEO of an exchange leading the girl power in the Blockchain industry in Korea.
SungA Kim：您好！非常高兴今天能来到499社群，我是Hanbitco 交易所的CEO SungA Kim。今天的采访用韩文进行，希望此次线上采访是能让大家轻松愉悦的茶点时间。
Good afternoon. It is good to be here with you. I am the CEO of Hanbitco Exchange. Our interview today will be held in Korean. I hope this online interview will be like a pleasing tea-time for all of us today.
Let's get started. First of all, could you briefly introduce yourself?
SungA Kim：我是Hanbitco交易所的CEO SungA Kim。今天我们不来宣传交易所、不来谈工作，就跟大家分享一下与区块链行业女性从业者相关的故事。
I am CEO of Hanbitco SungA Kim. Rather than talking about "Work, Work" to promote our exchange, I would like to share a story of a career woman in Blockchain.
I am looking forward to it.
This story is about all restless work overcoming difficulties without losing confidence.
You have become the first female CEO of a cryptocurrency exchange in Korea. Why did you join the industry and assume the role of CEO?
SungA Kim：故事有点长，如果用一个我喜欢的英语单词来形容的话，就是“Turn the tables”。表示尽管事情向对我不利的方向，但却成功扭转局势的情况。人一般有这样的倾向：容易把自己现在所处的处境定义为自己人生的状态。过去我也是这么想的，但是正是因为我两次扭转全局，我才能站在今天这个位置上。
The story might get too long, but I would like to start with an English expression that I like. "Turn the tables." When circumstances go against you, or when you are in such unfavorable conditions, rather than being swayed by them, you make use of them and turn them to your good. People tend to look equally at themselves as the circumstances they are in. So did I. However, there have been two game changers in my career, which shaped who I am today.
我上大学时的专业是英文学，没有金融资格证、没有MBA学位，所以无法找到一份对冲基金交易员（hedge fund trader）的工作。当时家境不允许我MBA，别人可以做的我却无法尝试，于是我决定"Turn the tables" 。我开始自学，开始自己实际操作股票交易，还参加了韩国最大的一家证券公司中举办的有价证券大赛，并获得了第一名。自那以后，我成为一名在对冲基金的期权期货交易员（option trader），开始积累这个领域的工作经验。这就是我的第一次"turning the table"。
I majored in English literature at my university in Korea. No degree in finance. Neither did I have any certificate in business or MBA. I heard without them you would never get a job as a hedge fund trader. It was somehow true because it was not that easy. I could not afford to acquire an MBA, and I knew that I would never be able to become successful if I only follow suit, so I decided to "turn the tables." I committed myself to study shares or stocks and actually started trading them. I participated in and won a portfolio competition held by Korea's largest stock company. This experience of winning the contest became the stepping stone for me to go further and have more experiences as a future option trader. It was the very first table I turned.
第二次是在韩国当地对冲基金做交易员的时候。当时我想换工作到外企IB或者对冲基金，学习更大的资本市场。我还想自己创建一个大的投资公司、搭建一个平台，把资本的巨大力量和商业连接起来以给社会带来影响力。在做交易员的时候运气非常好，遇见了一位非常优秀的上司，所以有幸结识JPmorgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs等外资IB高管。有一次，在某个场合我跟他们说出了自己的梦想。但是当时我并没有得到鼓励，而是听到了很多为什么我的想法不切实际的建议。
The opportunity to "turn the second table" came along as I was working as a trader at a Korean local hedge fund company. During that time, I was eager to learn more about the capital market of larger size by transferring to a foreign IB company or hedge fund firm. And I had this dream of establishing a big investment company with my own hands. I wanted to create a channel for connecting tremendous power of capital to businesses that can deliver social impacts to people. Working as a trader, I was lucky enough to work for amazingly high performing bosses and get to know executive officers of foreign IBs such as JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs through networking. Besides, I was somehow given the right moment to talk about my dream at a certain event. Anyway, I remember myself hearing all these pieces of realistic advice from them rather than being encouraged.
Some of what I heard at that event was true. It goes like this. #No Ivy League degree #Women #Asian women #No elite family #Non-native English speaker. Of course, you can get more experiences as you continue to work, but there are some unleveled playing fields with unfair systems, rules, and glass ceilings getting thicker than ever. Above all, I, myself could not feel the social impacts of investments in the conventional financial system. So I started to ask myself. What are all these investments for?
所以为了实现我的梦想，我逐渐明白我需要一个不一样的体系。随后于2014年我接触到了比特币，我看到了比特币的潜力。于是2015年我踏入了这个圈子。当时这个领域的公司并不多，选择甚少，所以我加入到了韩国最早的交易所Korbit，作为一名PM。总的来看，迄今为止，我在交易所工作过、和加密投资公司（crypto investment company）合作过，自己又创立了Hanbitco交易所。直到现在我一直用行动努力证明我在用加密货币给社会带来影响。所以，进入加密货币产业本身对我来说就是第二个“Turn the table”。
So it came across my mind by instinct that a new system is essential for me to put my belief into action. With this idea in my mind, I learned about Bitcoin in 2014. I realized its potential and jumped into the cryptocurrency industry in 2015. In those days, there were not many options to choose from in this industry, so I joined the first cryptocurrency exchange in Korea, Korbit as its PM. That's how I started my career in the cryptocurrency industry and have become the CEO of Hanbitco Exchange after serving as partners at an exchange and a crypto investment company. Besides, I have been continuously conducting campaigns which can bring social impacts to people with Crypto. The moment I joined the cryptocurrency industry was the perfect opportunity for me to turn the second table in my life.
It seems like you heard about bitcoin in its early days. I am also very excited about all your campaigns to deliver social impacts on people.
Looking back, "IF" my colleagues who had entered the finance industry earlier encouraged me, I would have stayed in that zone a little longer, but I think leaving the finance industry earlier than I had expected was a good chance.
That is why we can't predict anything. Chances do come along out of nowhere. I think you were entirely geared up and ready enough to seize that chance right away. Amazing!
Here comes my third question. I heard that Hanbitco would dedicate itself to creating an atmosphere at exchanges which respect diversity as its CEO is a woman. So how would you distinguish your company from the rest in the industry?
I am still striving to do that. Gender imbalance does exist in the Blockchain industry. More than 80 percent of us at cryptocurrency investment exchanges are male. Because there are many male "Crypto Followers" in Blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors, a majority of related contents and Blockchain based services are being created to target them. Currently, Hanbitco is carrying out many experiments and pilot programs in order to attract other groups of users. Our major target is not the male investors in their thirties to forties who like to take risks. What distinguishes us from other exchanges is that we have been putting weight on the future impacts of Blockchain /cryptocurrency based apps. I believe that there is so much more we can do with cryptocurrency than just merely using it to trade or invest. This may sound out of line for a CEO at an exchange to say. Our ultimate mission at Hanbitco is to popularize Blockchain apps. With this mission accomplished, our Hanbitco will grow further and succeed.
You said Hanbitco is doing various activities to attract other groups of users. What kind of groups of users are they?
Of course, a variety of groups of users! In order to achieve the generalization of Blockchain apps we should make known to the world, we need contents and services that can meet the needs of the audience from different walks of life. I can tell you this. I have not been so self-conscious about being the first female CEO of an exchange in Korea. But I should admit the fact that I have become the first female CEO did help female leaders secure their channels to reach a more diverse audience, which led to the expansion of the Blockchain ecosystem.
For example, I had this particular experiment with a focus group consisted of members in their twenties to thirties with zero prior cryptocurrency experiences. There was one female designer that I still remember. When I demonstrated the usage of cryptocurrency wallets, addressed, she murmured, "I am not sure if I should use all these just to send some points that I don't even know what to do with." When I showed her the page for trade, she thought it was a "calculator." Then it hit me that the conventional trading system at exchanges and wallet services are still way too difficult for users.
I heard that you have been preparing a program for women besides the job you have at the exchange. How would you describe these activities?
SungA Kim：是的，本来准备一个月后向大家公开。因为该项目还在筹备阶段，所以无法详细给大家介绍，我就简单说一下吧。这个活动名称叫“Women in Blockchain”，目的在于培养全球女性区块链领导，我和UN未来论坛的Mrs. Park young sook教授共同负责韩国地区的。
Well. In fact, I am supposed to launch the program a month later. Because it's still in preparation, I am not in a position to tell you about it in details so I will just touch upon it briefly. The program is called "Women in Blockchain" with the purpose of fostering global female leaders in Blockchain. Professor Park young sook who is also the Chair of UN Future Forum, and I are in charge of preparing the division in Korea.
I am so excited about it. To be frank, I gave it a try to form Dgirls, a group with female leaders in Blockchain. Will you also announce its opening to 499 Block Korea next month?
SungA Kim：Mrs. Park成立Brock Pierce奖学金基金进行过多个项目，这次转换方向，开始做"Women empowerment"，她还建议我做基金协会的会长呢。
Professor Park established and has been running a Brock Pierce Scholarship Foundation. As she started to give more attention to "Women empowerment," she suggested to me that I take the position of the chair of that foundation.
想成为全球领导的优秀女性们中有很多由于自己所处的环境不允许而不得不放弃自己梦想，我们想要给她们一个机会。从另一个角度看，就是给她们一个“Turn the table”的机会。There are many brilliant women with the dream of becoming global leaders, but they have given up on this dream because of unfavorable circumstances and surroundings. That is why I want to provide them with stepping stones. In other words, I want to encourage them to "turn the table" cheering them up.
在这个项目中，给一部分女性提供机会，她们还会带动更多的女性，带给她们勇气。我们和Brock Pierce（Puertopia项目）一起进行这个项目，想要给那些优秀但条件不允许的女性们提供放飞梦想的机会。I want to continue working for these women through the campaign so that I can give them the courage to become a leader, and then they can also encourage others to become a leader. Through the program run with Brock Pierce Foundation (Puertopia Program), I want to give opportunities to women who hope to become global leaders but who are forced to give up their dreams.
我们想要把这个项目持续做下去。给想要逆境中逆袭 turn the table的女性给予鼓励和帮助，等她们变为优秀的领导，她们又可以去鼓励其他女性，这是一个非常好的良性循环项目。By continuing the campaign, I want to inspire these women to turn the table and become leaders so that these women will be able to motivate others to be leaders as well.
I will support you!
SungA Kim：全世界所有的年轻女性都可以报名，从这些报名的人中我们会选出一部分让她们来韩国生活6个月到1年，一边学习文化、语言，一边在区块链行业做实习。今年5月我们将正式在Korea Future Forum公开发表。届时希望大家给予多多关注。
The program is to support an internship in the Blockchain industry so the candidates who have been chosen for the internship can come to Korea and learn Korean culture and language while staying in Korea for six months or one year. We are planning to announce the final candidates officially in May at Korea Future Forum. If you are interested in it, please join us.
Hero：肯定有很多人感兴趣！我也是！进入这个圈子后发现我周围还有好多女性没有接触过区块链，她们说因为没有接触的机会，有些遗憾，想了解却没有门路。如果能够通过"women in Blockchain"，我想这个问题就能得到解决。真的太棒了！
Many must be intrigued! I am as well. After joining the Blockchain industry, I have realized that many women are struggling to learn about Blockchain as they have no prior experience or knowledge in it at all. But I am confident that your programs for "women in Blockchain" will definitely be a big help to them and solve the problem for many women quickly!
What do you think is vital to bring up more female leaders in the Blockchain industry? Could you please tell us your opinions on how we can change the current environment where people still have difficulties approaching and getting to know Blockchain?
In fact, there is an easy way that does not require a lot of money or commitment. Just pay a little more attention to those women who want to become a leader and don't forget to encourage them.
Alright, I see! I am sure that there will be more women encouraged by looking at you. Now we've already come to the last question.
I know many of the members in this room are already excellent female leaders.
Here comes the last question. Would you like to give some words to the members of 499 Community here?
There are too many things I wanted to share so I was afraid that I would not be able to get to the point. I want to sum up everything I want to say in just one sentence.
We are ready to hear that!
SungA Kim：Let’s turn the table together. Anything really is possible! 非常感谢邀请我参加今天的采访。
Let's turn the table together. Anything really is possible! Thank you very much for inviting me to the interview today.
Thank you very much again for being here with us today.