South Korean Investment Giant Acquires Stake in Upbit’s Operator

Upbit, one of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, looks set to welcome a new shareholder. This week, The Korea Herald reported that Hanwha Investment and Securities, a securities investment company, had reached a deal to acquire a stake in the exchange’s parent company.

Improving Its Commitment to the Digital Asset Space

Hanwha Investment and Securities, a subsidiary of the Seoul-based financial services firm Hanwha Group, has agreed to terms to purchase 2.06 million shares of Dumamu, Upbit’s operator. The report values the deal at 58.3 billion won ($52.24 million) and it would see the investment firm acquire a 6.15 percent stake in the exchange operator.

Speaking to the news source, a spokesperson for the financial services company explained that the deal is a long-term commitment from Hanwha and an attempt from the company to catch up with the fast-growing digital asset industry.

“As we are focusing on developing more digital services, we anticipate achieving meaningful results in fintech-related businesses. Since Dunamu already has a high-skilled innovative finance service, we decided to cooperate with the financial technology firm.”

Hanwha’s Extensive Crypto Links

One of the largest business conglomerates in South Korea, Hanwha has been making its bid to support the blockchain and crypto industry for quite some time. Last January, Business Insider Malaysia reported that the company had participated in a $31 million funding round for Lightnet, a blockchain startup backed by the Stellar Development Foundation.

Based out of Bangkok, Lightnet is focusing on optimizing cross-border payments across the Southeast Asian region. Running on the Stellar blockchain, the service aims to replace the conventional payment portals – mainly, SWIFT – in the Southeast Asian market.

The firm is focusing on bringing financial inclusivity and reducing transaction costs, allowing members of the unbanked population to make seamless transfers. Additional investors in the Series A funding round include the Singaporean United Overseas Bank (UOB), Japan’s Seven Bank, and Hong Kong-based investment firm HashKey Capital.

In July, Hanwha Investment & Securities also invested in Xangle, a crypto disclosure platform from Singapore-based blockchain firm CrossAngle. The 4 billion won ($3.3 million) investment will go into Xangle’s development, with the blockchain firm hoping to create a product that provides transparent data for cryptocurrencies.

To provide effective disclosure, Xangle collects, verifies, and integrates corporate disclosures from companies and projects that have issued cryptocurrencies. This way, members of the public can gain access to off-chain corporate disclosures and on-chain metrics.

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