Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly expanding its operations by entering the South Korean markets. This announcement was made by Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao during the Blockchain Partners Summit held in Seoul, South Korea on July 21st.
As part of its expansion efforts, Binance intends to “establish three to five local corporations within this year”, according to Business Korea. It appears that the crypto exchange has been planning to extend its services to South Korea since August 2017, when it added support for the Korean language on its platform.
Binance Hires Korean Executives
More recently, Binance appointed Korean national Jeon Ah-rim as local marketing director. Ah-rim had previously been working at a Korean blockchain startup called Chain Partners. The exchange also hired Korean citizen Christy Hyungwon Choi as director of Binance Labs, the company’s blockchain incubator focused on helping startup companies. Choi’s previous work experience includes working at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm.
Notably, daily crypto trading volume on Binance is around $1.5 billion, according to data from CryptoCompare. There are also 7.9 million registered users on the exchange, the company revealed in March, 2018. However, there are currently not many South Koreans who actively use Binance. This could potentially change because South Korean authorities have recently softened their stance towards cryptocurrencies.
South Korea’s government had moved toward banning many types of crypto-related activities last year, particularly anonymous cryptocurrency accounts. Now, presumably due to the fierce opposition and numerous petitions filed by Korean citizens against restricting crypto trading, South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled last month that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) were a legally recognizable asset.
South Korean Authorities Now More Receptive To Crypto
The country also recently established the Financial Innovation Bureau to monitor the local cryptocurrency markets and to help Korean citizens and businesses safely adopt and use the latest financial technology.
It seems that Binance’s trading services would be a good fit for South Korea’s rapidly evolving digital currency market, given the exchange’s reputation for providing a highly-secure and reliable crypto trading platform. Earlier this year, Binance reported a profit of $200 million during Q1 2018, which was considerably more than the $146 million in first quarter profits earned by Deutsche bank, one of Europe’s largest financial institutions.
Changpeng has now predicted that Binance’s net profit for 2018 will be around $1 billion and that its total registered users will increase to approximately 10 million. Over the years, Binance, which was founded in Beijing, China, has expanded considerably. The company chose to shift its headquarters over to Hong Kong last year, when the Chinese government had planned to ban cryptocurrency exchanges in September 2017. Since then, Binance has also established offices and business operations in Tokyo, Japan and crypto-friendly Malta.
Featured Image Credit: “Golden bitcoin and South Korea flag” by “Marco Verch” via Flickr; licensed under “CC BY 2.0”