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As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Inside Bitcoins, DCC interviewed thought leaders who will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in San Diego on December 14-16, 2015. Today, we share an interview with Yo Sub Kwon, Director of Engineering and Co-Founder of LaunchKey.  

Tell us about how and why you got involved in the digital currency industry.

I was an online poker player and wanted to build a decentralized poker room. In discussions about how currency could be handled, a friend introduced me to Bitcoin. This was 5 years ago. It took me a while to really understand how it worked, but once that happened I became infatuated with blockchains and have been involved in the industry ever since.

What led to the genesis of LaunchKey? What makes LaunchKey unique?

LaunchKey was born at a Startup Weekend. My co-founders and I were discussing the major breach of LinkedIn that had happened in the weeks before. In our conversation we came to the realization that passwords were the problem and set out to create an alternative. We built a prototype in that hackathon where we won 1st place and went on to raise capital.

LaunchKey is unique in that it’s a completely passwordless and anonymous way to authenticate using your phone. The phone is a powerful piece of hardware, so LaunchKey leverages all the capabilities of the device to let the user decide how many factors of security they would like to add. Simply put, it’s a more convenient and more secure way to login.

What are you most excited about in digital currencies and blockchain technology right now?

I would say that my excitement is greatest from the capabilities a powerful blockchain offer so it’s great going to industry events and seeing what kind of new companies and ideas are being worked on. The technology has only been around for such a short amount of time that there are still so many new and exciting uses. I really enjoy seeing the use cases that are outside of financial services space.

What do you see as the greatest challenge facing the industry?

I feel like there’s a path laid out that might have some crazy bumps but will end up being traversed all the same. Right now, I would say the largest challenge is probably security. The history of the industry is teeming with security lapses that break down trust and results in people discrediting it. I hope to do my part in fighting this with LaunchKey.

What’s on the horizon for you and LaunchKey in 2016?

We have a couple of products that have been in Beta for a while now that we’ll be launching early next year. Also, we have some exciting partnerships with well known Bitcoin companies that we can’t wait to announce, which will allow users to securely access their accounts. In 2016, we plan to greatly increase our presence in the digital currency industry and financial industry as a whole to better protect both users and sites.

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