U.S. fintech firm, Bittrex, and South Korean app developer, Dunamu, an affiliate of the country’s largest messaging platform, Kakao, have teamed up to launch a new, massive cryptocurrency exchange platform in South Korea.
The new platform, called Upbit, will support the exchange between more than 100 different cryptocurrencies, reportedly making it the largest virtual currency exchange in South Korea.
Bithumb, which currently stands as South Korea’s largest trading platform, only supports seven cryptocurrencies.
Dunamu is already well-known for its operation of South Korea’s most popular stock-trading app, Kakao Stock. The fintech startup is also an affiliate of the Kakao Corporation, which runs South Korea’s most popular messaging app, KakaoTalk, which is used by as much as 93 percent of the country’s population.
Upbit users will be able to use the KakaoTalk messaging and payment apps to conduct cryptocurrency trades on their mobiles. They will also be provided with BitGo wallets, which will be used alongside KakaoPay’s other features to increase account security.
The announcement of this partnership between the American and South Korean companies is another development in the aftermath of China’s post-exchange ban, which has caused cryptocurrency investors and traders to relocate to more crypto-friendly locales to escape tight regulations.
In another significant development, Ant Financial, the financial branch of China’s tech titan Alibaba, invested $200 million in KakaoPay. This partnership will allow all of Alibaba’s 450 million global Alipay users to gain access to KakaoPay’s services in Korea.
Alibaba’s partnership with the crypto-platform is particularly notable, because China, Alibaba’s home country, recently banned bitcoin exchanges outright.
Nevertheless, the Chinese tech giant is now investing in a major international crypto-trading platform.
Alibaba’s involvement with KakaoPay is just one more example of how Chinese fintech companies are looking overseas to continue their cryptocurrency dealings, as they face major restrictions at home.