Five years ago, Sinjin David Jung left his native South Korea and entered the rapidly growing world of fintech in South–East Asia. As Vice Chairman for TrueMoney in the Philippines, he oversaw the birth and expansion of a digital payment tool that puts money in the pockets of millions of working people.
However, beyond the convenience of digital payments and remittances, Jung saw the potential for fintech to serve a higher purpose.
“For the last couple of years, I have been focusing on my passion project: financial inclusion in decentralised economies through cryptocurrencies,” he said in early 2019, at the 8th Global Family Office Investment Summit hosted by Sir Anthony Ritossa in Dubai, where leading families from around the world represented over US$4 trillion in investor wealth.
“This social impact project is my road to redemption, with all the knowledge that I have acquired, I really want to do something ethical and good. My devotion is dealing with emerging markets that are growing but the average person has not yet benefited from that growth,” he said.
This project took the form of the International Blockchain Monetary Reserve (IBMR), whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty, exploitation and wealth disparity in failing emerging markets through the decentralised network effects of blockchain technology.
“I launched the IBMR, which I envision to one day be the independent IMF of crypto and digital currencies worldwide. Our first region is South–East Asia, and I hope to launch the largest micro asset network, essentially allowing the urban working poor to be part of a decentralised information network, to report on government corruption, and general problems in the community,” he said at the summit.
Through the IBMR, Jung hopes to create financial access for the unbanked working poor and ultimately spread South–East Asia’s colossal recent growth – 66% as a region over the past 10 years – more equitably among the quarter-billion-strong population.
In March 2020, IBMR announced that it had secured US$3.48 million as an investment seed into the Asia Reserve Currency Coin (ARCC) Currency Reserve – a trove of cryptocurrency that Jung has designed to be the engine for a new type of microfinance for the urban working poor and end economic exploitation.
The humanitarian lens through which Jung views the potential for cryptocurrency extends beyond his own business. When asked recently how the coronavirus pandemic might affect the price and usability of cryptocurrencies, he urged solidarity among those who want to see cryptocurrencies thrive.
He said: “There are no bulls or bears when the entire global economy is being brought down to its knees as the very issue of life and death now take centre stage.”