Bithumb, a South Korean crypto exchange, is working on an NFT marketplace with “a significant 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 help it compete with Korbit and Upbit, two other domestic Korean exchanges.
“An NFT marketplace will be important in promoting blockchain-based content, which will become a driving force in the future.”
The identity of the content creators 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 “it is impossible to confirm whether it is LG CNS and whether it is simply them or a collection of enterprises.”
Bithumb’s ability to stay competitive would be aided by the launch of an NFT marketplace. Bithumb is now rated second among Korean exchanges in terms of trading volume. However, it is a distant second to Upbit, which has a 24-hour trading volume of $1.7 billion compared to Bithumb’s $730 million.
Upbit launched its own NFT marketplace in November 2021 to much fanfare after securing exclusive NFT content commitments from various K-pop acts, including BTS.
In June 2021, the Korbit crypto exchange, which is controlled by gaming giant Nexon, 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 around $7 million.
While most global NFT traders use OpenSea to mint and trade on-chain, Korean dealers prefer to use centralised platforms. Despite the fact that the Klaytn blockchain was established in South Korea and is one of only three platforms with native OpenSea support, trading volume on the Klaytn blockchain has lagged behind that of Polygon and Ethereum-based marketplaces.