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[E-Daily] Oh Hyun-ok, CEO of zkrypto, “Real-time democracy will be possible with blockchain voting”


[Source] 30.01.2023 6:02 am Edaily article

Oh Hyun-ok, CEO of zkrypto, “Real-time democracy will be possible with blockchain voting”



zkVoting, online voting service based on 'zero-knowledge proof technology'

CES Best Innovation Award... Dramatic reduction in voting cost and time

The purpose of introducing domestic and international elections... “Expecting sales of 100 billion won next year by entering the entertainment industry”

Nasdaq listing target... "Unicorn company prospects within 2-3 years" [E-Daily Reporter Ham Ji-hyun] “Compared to paper voting, online voting has a breakthrough in cost reduction and ballot counting speed. If you use zKvoting, an online voting service based on blockchain technology, you will be able to reflect public opinion more frequently and accurately, making ‘real-time democracy’ possible.”


Oh Hyun-ok, CEO of zkrypto (Professor of Information Systems at Hanyang University), who won the Best Innovation Award at the CES 2023 held in Las Vegas earlier this month, said in an interview with E-Daily on the 27th, “Conflicts and distrust that occur after the election , I am proud of developing technology that can solve social problems and realize digital democracy,” he said. “I also feel a sense of responsibility that there is more work to be done in the future.”


Oh Hyun-ok, CEO of zkrypto (Professor of Department of Information Systems, Hanyang University), is presenting zKvoting, an online voting service, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023. (Photo = zkrypto)


The zkVoting service introduced by zkrypto is based on ‘zero-KnowledgeProof’.


Blockchain discloses all information, but copies and stores data in blocks formed by connecting countless numbers in the form of a chain to prevent forgery and alteration of data. No one can arbitrarily modify it, so the reliability of the results is high. However, if blockchain technology is applied to voting, all voter information is disclosed, making secret voting impossible. If the information is encrypted, it is impossible to know if the voter is correct or if he has voted only once.


Zero-knowledge proof technology is a service that complements these problems. It can be understood that the information provided to the other party other than that I voted is 'zero'. It is to reveal that I am a legitimate voter, but to hide my voting information. Instead, the encrypted voting contents are stored in the public blockchain, so that anyone can verify the voting process and results at any time, while the contents cannot be manipulated.


In 2020, CEO Oh started his own business with Ji-Hye Kim (Professor of Electronic Engineering at Kookmin University), Chief Technology Officer. The company name zkrypto is also made by adding “Crypto,” which contains the meaning of encryption technology, to the Z of “Zero” and the K of “Knowledge.” Representative Oh explained the background of the start-up, saying, “Because technology must be continuously developed and applied according to trends, it is impossible to become a business simply by developing technology.”


This technology was also introduced at CES as 'a technology that can solve one of the three problems facing mankind'. The zkrypto booth also attracted attention from various fields around the world and achieved a success.


CEO Oh said, "There were so many people that we didn't even have time to have lunch." He conveyed the atmosphere.


CEO Oh aims to introduce zkVoting to the voting system used by domestic and foreign governments. To do this, it must be safe, reliable and verifiable. He said, “In the case of the United States, interest in digital conversion is high, so we expect to quickly apply the online voting system once safety is guaranteed.” After replacement, once stability is guaranteed, we will further expand the scope.”


Hyun-Ok Oh (left), CEO of zkrypto (Professor, Department of Information System, Hanyang University) and Chief Technology Officer, Ji-Hye Kim (Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering, Kookmin University) are presenting zKvoting, an online voting service, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023. =zkrypto)


The idea is to gradually expand the monetization model.


The government's voting system is the ultimate goal of creating a society that can immediately reflect public opinion, and it is observed that the participation of the private sector, including entertainment, will account for a large portion of actual profits. There are many programs that use voting not only in Korea but also in global entertainment companies, but disputes over fairness often erupt. It is said that there are places that have already had specific conversations with big overseas productions.


Representative Oh predicted, “Income through the program will be at least 100 billion won next year alone.” “Becoming a unicorn company (an unlisted company with a corporate value of over 1 trillion won) is not a ‘goal’ but a ‘prospect’,” he said. “It may become a unicorn within the next two to three years, faster than expected. We are also considering going public on Nasdaq.”


It is also drawing a blueprint that will ultimately contribute to the realization of a “convenient and safe world.”


Representative Oh said, “When taking out a loan or real estate transaction, it takes a long time to prepare documents and sometimes I have to take a vacation.” The qualifications can be proven while keeping the


As a member of the deep tech field, which the Ministry of SMEs and Startups decided to intensively nurture, CEO Oh also complained of difficulties in starting a technology startup.


He said, “It is not easy to get recognition even if you have technology because the area of expertise is narrow in Korea.” He added, "Compared to that, overseas investors had a different level of understanding and perspective."


Jihye Kim, the chief technology director who founded the company with CEO Oh, spared no advice for her junior founders.


Director Kim said, “Before starting a business, doing work to increase the probability and building one’s knowledge through that experience is accumulating experience.” “It is difficult to have skills in your 20s. However, even if it is a small technology, if you put energy into it and challenge it, it can become a kind of foundation for re-startups in the future.”



Jihyun Ham (hamz@edaily.co.kr)

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