South Korean crypto exchange giant Bithumb is reportedly eyeing a significant investment in the Busan blockchain special zone. The move comes following the platform’s creation of a research and development center.
Bithumb to Invest in Busan Blockchain Zone
According to South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Bithumb is set to invest about $8 million in the Busan blockchain zone. The investment plan follows an earlier business survey conducted by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) in October 2019.
Bithumb will reportedly carry out the investment via its GCX Alliance subsidiary but there is no word yet on the nature of exchange’s plans for the blockchain zone. According to a senior official of the ministry:
“Bithumb and the Financial Services Commission [FSC] will discuss investment in Busan blockchain special zone from the end of January.”
Bithumb’s investment could potentially be the first of many public-private partnerships in the development of the blockchain special zone. The move may also contribute to bucking the negative trend of the overregulation of the country’s crypto sector.
The announcement of the proposed investment also offers a further indication of Bithumb’s push to foster greater utilization of blockchain technology. As previously reported by BTCManager, the exchange giant has established a research center to boost its blockchain-based solutions. Bithumb recently got slapped with a $69.3 million tax bill from the country’s National Tax Service (NTS).
Fresh Government Support
The news of Bithumb’s planned $8 million investment in Busan comes at a time when South Korea’s government appears to be softening its stance on the crypto industry. The start of 2020 has seen the country’s Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) call for the creation of easier onramps for cryptos into the mainstream financial sector.
Following the raft of strict crypto regulations in 2019, some commentators stated that projects like the Busan special blockchain zone might suffer. Some crypto exchanges were forced to shut down operations while blockchain projects elected to list their tokens on overseas exchanges as local trading volumes shrunk.
However, it appears, authorities in government are looking to push for the institutionalization of the industry along with legal authorizations for crypto-based products and services. Such moves may even see mainstream financial institutions launching crypto derivatives as is the case in countries like the U.S.