South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group is reportedly acquiring a stake in the parent company of major local cryptocurrency exchange Upbit.
Hanwha Investment and Securities, the securities brokerage arm of Hanwha Group, has reached an agreement to buy a 6.15% stake in Upbit’ operator Dumanu for 58.3 billion won ($52.24 million), The Korea Herald reported on Feb. 3.
According to the report, the acquisition of 2.06 million shares is scheduled to take place on Feb. 22. A representative from Hanwha said that the deal is a long-term investment for the company to keep up with the fast-growing fintech industry and digitization:
“As we are focusing on developing more digital services, we anticipate to achieve 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.”
As an operator of a major crypto exchange in South Korea, Dunamu has been introducing more digital asset services recently. In mid-January, Dunamu introduced the Bitcoin (BTC) “fear and greed” index intended at helping digital asset investors make better decisions.
Hanwha is one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea alongside giants like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and SK Group. The company has been actively growing its involvement in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries through its subsidiaries. In July 2020, Hanwha Investment participated in a $3 million funding round in crypto startup CrossAngle in a move to support the development of institutional crypto data services.
In January, Hanwha Investment and Securities took part in $31 million funding in Stellar-based blockchain startup Lightnet.