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South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb to invest $8M into Busan blockchain zone

Mon, 13 Jan 2020, 09:56 am UTC

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is going to invest $8 million into the Busan blockchain zone, reported citing local news outlet News1.

According to the report, GCX Alliance, a Bithumb subsidiary, will be discussing the preliminary investment plans with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) this month.

“Bithumb and the Financial Services Commission will discuss the investment in Busan blockchain special zone at the end of January,” a senior official from the Ministry SMEs and Startups said.

Just recently, the National Tax Service (NTS) withheld $69 million (approximately) from Bithumb’s foreign customers. It marked the first instance of the government imposing a tax on crypto transactions.

Regulation-free blockchain zone

Following this crackdown, the exchange reportedly entered into a partnership with the Ministry SMEs and Startups and now plans to pump $8 million into the Busan blockchain zone. Bithumb’s investment will be in addition to the expected 29.9 billion won ($25 million) by the end of 2020.

Last July, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups designated Busan as a regulation-free zone for blockchain technologies. For this, the government relaxed 11 regulations for companies using blockchain technology.

Purportedly modeled after Switzerland’s crypto hub Zug, the Busan blockchain zone was created to encourage blockchain innovation. It is reportedly one of seven regions chosen by the government to pilot crypto and blockchain solutions. However, the region does not allow initial coin offerings (ICO).

In particular, the government wants blockchain and crypto projects in the special region to focus on the public sector with ideas that boost tourism, consumerism, and public safety.

Just recently, Bithumb established its blockchain research and development center. In Nov., Bithumb Global, the global arm of Bithumb Korea, announced its own blockchain platform, called Bithumb Chain, and native token, Bithumb Coin (BT).

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