South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, currently the world’s sixth largest by daily traded volume, will open a global decentralized crypto exchange, Business Korea reports Oct. 4.

Bithumb has partnered with blockchain firm One Root Network (RNT), which has developed an Ethereum (ETH)-based decentralized token transaction protocol dubbed “R1” and already operates a decentralized exchange (DEX). According to a joint press release, the protocol separates order matching and order execution, which RNT claims improves security and matching efficiency.

Decentralized platforms enable users to trade peer-to-peer via an automated system; as they do not store clients’ crypto, they are less vulnerable to thefts that target a centralized point of attack. They can, however, as Business Korea notes, offer relatively slower trading speeds than their centralized counterparts.

Business Korea cites a Bithumb official as saying that the partnership centers on technical support, clarifying that “Bithumb DEX will be operated by its overseas subsidiary. The company is working together with RNT only in the decentralized exchange sector.”

As RNT has outlined, its project aims to enable traffic holders such as Bithumb to build their own decentralized platforms, and share transaction data and liquidity with other R1 protocol users as part of a wider ecosystem.   

Business Korea further cites an unnamed industry source as saying that the partnership represents a global expansion strategy by the Korean exchange:

“Bithumb is one of the leading global exchanges in terms of transactions but it is true that most of its users are Korean. The latest decision seems to be the company’s strategy to compete with other leading exchanges in the global market by opening a decentralized exchange that receives attention in the global market.”

Business Korea notes that rival Korean exchange Upbit has also made a foray into the DEX space through its investment in Allbit.

As reported in August, the world’s largest crypto trading platform Binance has released a simple demo of its own forthcoming decentralized exchange, without yet disclosing an expected launch date.

As of press time, Bithumb is seeing $336,761,580 in daily trades, according to data from CoinMarketCap.