Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, has announced a partnership with cryptocurrency trading platform FTX to create a local cryptocurrency exchange and further the development of Blockchain technology.
FTX, of Sam Bankman-Fried, will collaborate in the creation of the Busan Digital Asset Exchange, according to an official statement from the Busan Metropolitan City on August 30. The Bahamas-based company will also support the city in fostering the growth of the local blockchain industry.
The city of Busan will use the technology and infrastructure of FTX to establish its own cryptocurrency exchange. FTX will also be involved in promoting blockchain-specific education with local universities and projects within the city’s “Special Blockchain Free Zone”, which was established in 2019.
According to the CEO of the investment division of FTX, Amy Woo, the company will establish a Korean branch of FTX in Busan in the next 12 months, in an effort to help the city “become a hub of digital finance in Asia.”
The City of Busan’s deal with FTX follows another partnership with Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. The company and the city signed a memorandum of understanding on August 26 to provide technology and infrastructure support for the city’s blockchain development efforts.
Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao was on hand along with Busan Mayor Heong-Joon Park for the announcement, which implies Binance’s support for the establishment of crypto exchanges and various blockchain companies. Both Binance and FTX are set to establish their presence in the country over the next year.
Busan has sought to position itself as a blockchain hub in South Korea for the past five years, with various initiatives and partnerships established to achieve this goal. Since Busan was designated as South Korea’s Blockchain sandbox in 2019, various projects have made use of the technology.
This includes the deployment of a proprietary blockchain-based identification system, support for cryptocurrency payments for various services on its most popular beaches, as well as a blockchain-powered driver’s license platform.
The South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit has also pushed to clamp down on foreign-based exchanges operating in the country in 2022, while the Financial Services Commission seeks to speed up the review of 13 different cryptocurrency-related bills currently before the South Korean National Assembly.
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