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Vitalik Buterin’s South Korea Visit Has Crypto Community Buzzing

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Vitalik Buterin’s South Korea Visit Has Crypto Community Buzzing

Tim Alper

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| 2 min read

Vitalik Buterin’s South Korean Visit Has Nation’s Crypto Community Buzzing

Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, was spotted out and about in the South Korean tech hub city of Pangyo over the weekend – to the delight of the nation’s crypto community.

Buterin was in South Korea to attend a variety of events, including an Ethereum-related conference.

But eagle-eyed crypto enthusiasts were stunned to see him walking the streets of Pangyo, a tech-focused town in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province – and working on a laptop in a cafe.

Vitalik Buterin Returns to South Korea


The Ethereum co-founder delivered a keynote speech at ETH Seoul 2024. The gaming giant Neowiz hosted the event at its Pangyo headquarters on March 30.

However, Buterin appears to have extended his stay in the city. Pangyo is also home to the headquarters of tech giants like Ahnlab and Naver.

The IT-focused conglomerates Kakao, Samsung, and SK also have considerable Pangyo-based operations.

South Korean crypto enthusiasts flocked to social media sites like X to claim they had seen Buterin in Pangyo on March 31.

One social media user posted a photograph of Buterin apparently working on a laptop in a Pangyo coffee shop.

Social media users pointed out that there were “four or five cups” on Buterin’s table, indicating perhaps that he had been working at the same cafe for a considerable period of time.

Another posted a video of Buterin walking on a Pangyo street, taking a glance at his cell phone while walking.

The posts and other sightings caused a stir, with some commenters noting that Buterin “looked like a normal resident” of the city.

Pangyo Techno Valley, in Pangyo, South Korea.
Pangyo Techno Valley, in Pangyo, South Korea. (Source: Imtotallykorean [CC BY-SA 4.0])

ETH Enthusiasm in South Korea


The Ethereum co-founder’s most recent stay in South Korea may be his longest yet. Buterin also attended a web3-related event named BUIDL Asia 2024 in the Songpa District of Seoul on March 27, Maeil Kyungjae reported.

Ethereum (ETH) enjoys considerable popularity in South Korea, where even senior judges have declared they have ETH holdings.

Buterin visited the nation in 2019, when he was invited to speak at a specially convened meeting at the National Assembly.

He took the opportunity to tell the nation’s lawmakers that blockchain technology and cryptoassets were “virtually inseparable.”

At the time, the government had been trying to promote “crypto-free blockchain” policies. Companies and state organs were encouraged to develop their own coin-free blockchain networks, rather than make use of protocols like Ethereum.

However, the Ethereum co-founder told politicians:

“Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are difficult to separate. […] Public blockchains rely heavily on cryptoassets. As such, cryptoassets are absolutely necessary.”

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