Blockchain Commercial During World Cup Spurs Confusion

Let’s face it, blockchain can be confusing.

Even now, as I type, my word processing application has expressed its confusion with the word by portraying a small, red, wiggly line underneath it. Is it block-chain, block chain, or blockchain? Is it The Blockchain proper?

People tend to doubt that which they do not understand and the Korean-based company Hdac’s fancy commercial, which can be seen over and again during the World Cup 2018, in various countries, showcasing augmented-reality, in-home shopping, and seamless, even friendly behavior among a family’s network of home appliances has incited a chorus of skeptical reactions on social media as such.

Many of these meme-makers are not laypersons laying outside the blockchain bubble, “throwing shade”, they are in-fact coders and crypto-captains. Their confusion comes not from a lack of basic knowledge about blockchain but from the fact that for all their researching and re-tweeting they have never heard of this company and they find the commercial itself lacking in terms of explaining the product. “Who is Hdac and what do they do, exactly?” they ask, underneath all the quips and chin-scratching emojis.

Just as an exhibition soccer match is known as a “friendly”, I’m sure their jokes are all in good fun, and in that spirit here are some #funfacts about Hdac.

Fun Facts About Hdac

  • Hdac stands for Hyundai Digital Asset Company 

  • While it has a strong presence in South Korea, the company maintains headquarters located in Zug, Switzerland, which has announced it will host Switzerland’s first municipal vote supported by blockchain, later this month.

  • Hdac was originally founded by former Umass Boston student Chung Dae-Sun, nephew of Hyundai Motors CEO Chung Mong-Koo.

The company has openly stated that it had expected that their many relationships with various executives in the Hyundai Motor Group would help them, not only receive support, but integrate their products across both home and auto devices. Dae-Sun’s grandfather was Chung Ju-yung whose legacy is being the entrepreneurial father of the Hyundai Group and was voted Korea’s most respected entrepreneur several years ago in a public survey according to The Korea Herald.

  • Hdac specializes in using blockchain to support IoT (the Internet of Things).

(Spoiler Alert!)

In a recent episode of Westworld, when the leader of the Ghost Nation meets his maker, Dr. Ford asks him what truth he’s been spreading. Akecheta responds by saying:

…that there is not one world, but many, and, that we LIVE IN THE WRONG ONE. This will help them find the door…I believe there is a door, hidden in this place. A door to a new world.

There are many blockchains. Bitcoin just happens to be the first and largest cyrpto-currency based on a blockchain, and has been the most accessible. By now, there are many blockchain ecosystems forming. Hdac wants to connect public blockchains (such as Bitcoin) to the Internet of Things, a growing physical network of “smart” devices, like vehicles, appliances, home security cameras, etc. connected via the internet. Current blockchain platforms, such as ethereum, are wrong for this use (says Hdac) because they can not scale and still operate at the instantaneous speeds that will be required for, say, a self driving car that also compares gas prices and refuels itself, according to their website. They want to create their own, private blockchain network, that will operate faster, and be the “door” between the two.

Loose Westworld parallels aside, some of the confusion viewers of Hdac’s World Cup commercial are experiencing could also be a byproduct of where the company is in terms of timeline. Formed in late 2017, Hdac does not project its “hybrid” blockchain network to be live until 2020 according to their Whitepaper.

  • Hdac made several key decisions to increase the potential speed of their transactions.

According to an interview with ICO Alert, Hdac decided to:

  1. Build their own “hybrid block-chain” instead of building
    on the Ethereum Network
  2. “…[make] the standard PoW techniques more energy and time efficient
    by reducing the number of nodes required to achieve consensus.”

These are at least two of the ways that Hdac’s planned private blockchain differs in design from some other blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin. That much is clear, even to someone who does not claim to be a blockchain expert or a developer, such as myself, from just a general reading of their Whitepaper.

  • In 2017, when Hdac generated their first native coin, they raised over $258 million in investment.

This is according to ICO bench.

  • In March of 2018 Hdac suffered a breach by hackers.

Early 2018 has seen more than one instance of cryptocurrency being hacked, and Hdac was one of them. Withdrawls were temporarily frozen after Hdac’s mining pool was hacked in a breach. Very little English-language information is available concerning the details of the attack, which was first reported by the Korean website Token Post.

Hdac has not made a public statement about the hack and declined to comment, but one of its parent companies, HyundaiPay told Token Post:

“The HyundaiPay team does not intervene in the operations of the [DAC token] mining pool. HyundaiPay’s servers and the HDAC blockchain itself are not impacted by the breach… not all of the [299 mining pool] participants have been affected. While HyundaiPay cannot provide exact details in regards to the reach of the hack, the team estimates that the vast majority of miners have been affected.”

Here is an English language video from the “Breaking News” section of CryptoCoin.News about the attack:

  • Hdac’s biggest competitor in the blockchain/IoT space is IOTA

According to their Whitepaper, IOTA is a cryptocurrency specifically for the Internet of Things. IOTA is not based on blockchain technology, per se, but instead utilizes something called Tangle Technology which has many similarities and many differences to blockchain, according to their blog, The Tangler. Hdac only mentions IOTA twice in its own Whitepaper. Perhaps, this is because IOTA is not a blockchain so Hdac decided it was outside of the scope of Hdac’s niche from a technical standpoint.


Either way, I found the tale of Hdac a very interesting one, and hopefully was able to shine some light on the company and what products it offers to quell some confusion so that everyone can get back to cheering for the FIFA World Cup 2018.


(Caldwell neither endorses nor opposes any cause or organization.)

Hyundai Digital Asset Company Website:


The Korea Herald:

HDAC whitepaper:

IOTA whitepaper:

ICO Alert:

ICO Bench:

Token Post (Korean Language):

The Tangler:

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