Bithumb, a Korean exchange, will start an NFT marketplace

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Bithumb, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, is working on an NFT marketplace with a corporation, which is presumed to be LG CNS, an LG Corporation subsidiary.

In a Jan. 13 interview, Bithumb CEO Heo Baek-young stated that the exchange was working on a nonfungible token (NFT) exchange, which would enable it to compete with Korbit and Upbit, two major local Korean exchanges. “An NFT marketplace will be important in promoting blockchain-based content, which will become a driving force in the future,”  Heo added.

The identity of the content providers or artists who have consented to release material in NFT format for Bithumb has yet to be confirmed.

Several South Korean news agencies stated that the NFT marketplace is being built in partnership with LG CNS. However, a Bithumb official remarked on Jan. 17 that the parties involved are not finally decided.

The launch of an NFT marketplace would aid Bithumb’s ability to stay competitive. Bithumb is now rated second among Korean exchanges in terms of the trading volume. Nevertheless, it is a distant second behind Upbit, a 24-hour trading volume of $1.7 billion compared to Bithumb’s $730 million.

Upbit debuted its NFT marketplace in November 2021 to excitement after securing exclusive NFT content commitments from various K-pop acts, including BTS.

In June 2021, the Korbit crypto exchange, which gaming giant Nexon controls, became the first in South Korea to open an NFT marketplace. Korbit is Korea’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, with a 24-hour trading volume of over $7 million.

While most worldwide NFT traders use OpenSea to mint and trade on-chain, Korean dealers prefer to use centralized platforms. Although the Klaytn blockchain was established in South Korea and is one of only three platforms with native OpenSea compatibility, trade volume on the Klaytn blockchain was lower than that of Polygon and Ethereum-based ones.

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