South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges might be looking at a boost in funding as several of the country’s largest multi-billion dollar conglomerates are making their way into the market.
This news comes shortly after a period of uncertainty after a significant January dip, prompted by narratives from news outlets as speculation surrounded the government’s stance on cryptocurrency regulations.
Now, some of the wealthiest insurance, telecommunications, gaming and internet conglomerates in the country are gearing up to fund the next generation of South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges.
Positive reports indicate that initial coin offerings (ICOs) may, in fact, have a safe space to operate in, though these would only be available to domestic investors. Additionally, the discussion of how to proceed forward with ICOs and crypto-trading has since been unravelling further.
At the end of January, Kim Sang-Joo, chairman of South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, made it clear that in a radio interview that it wouldn’t be possible for the South Korean government to shut them down, stating:
“In reality, it is impossible…Whether a violation of the e-commerce law is likely to happen relatively quickly, the e-commerce law does not have the right to close the virtual exchange.”
Who is involved?
NHN Entertainment Corporation (NHN) is the largest gaming conglomerate in South Korea worth USD 1.29 billion.
Having already funded China’s previously dominant cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin; according to OKCoin president Cho Jeong-hwan, the exchange is to be launched in March with 60 Cryptocurrency-to-Korean Won (KRW) pairings.
Another set of major players come from the companies behind Upbit, the fourth largest exchange in the world and the largest in South Korea. It is run by Dunamoo, a subsidiary of Kakao, the largest Internet company in South Korea. Together the pair are worth just over USD 10 billion, and their crypto-only exchange has proven to be a hit with traders.
The largest of the three come from NXC, the parent company of South Korea’s largest gaming company Nexon, which is worth USD 11.5 billion and owns the country’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange Korbit.
With them is SK Telecom, Korbit’s first significant investors and South Korea’s largest telecommunications company worth approximately USD 17 billion.
New developments make for bright horizons
The discussion of finding a means to create the right framework for cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs is happening and could be ramped up by the advances of huge investors into the cryptocurrency space.
Moments such as these indicate an exciting new period for a country that feverishly trades cryptocurrency, and could bring good tidings for the cryptocurrency community across the globe if South Korea can prove that blockchain and related products are compatible with existing systems.