Rumor has it that LG affiliate LG CNS is the technological partner assisting Bithumb in developing its NFT marketplace, which is slated to start in 2022.

Bithumb, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, is working on an NFT marketplace with “a significant corporation,” which is presumed to be LG CNS, a sub-division of LG Corporation.

In a January 13 interview, Bithumb CEO Heo Baek-young revealed that the exchange firm was actively creating a non-fungible token (NFT) exchange to help it compete with Korbit and Upbit, two prominent local Korean exchanges. Heo said: “An NFT marketplace will be important in promoting blockchain-based content, which will become a driving force in the future.”

There is yet to be any verification of the identities of the content providers or artists who have consented to release material in NFT format for Bithumb.

Several South Korean media publications have indicated that the NFT marketplace is being built in conjunction with tech behemoth LG CNS, while a Bithumb spokesperson stated on January 17 that: “it is impossible to confirm whether it is LG CNS and whether it is just them or a group of companies.”

Bithumb would benefit from the launch of an NFT marketplace in order to stay competitive. Bithumb is now placed second in terms of transaction volume among Korean exchanges. However, it is a distant place from Upbit, which has $1.7 billion in 24-hour trading volume compared to Bithumb’s $730 million.

Upbit initiated its own NFT marketplace in November 2021 with excitement after securing exclusive NFT content commitments from major K-pop acts, including BTS.

The Korbit cryptocurrency exchange, founded by gaming giant Nexon, was the first in South Korea to open an NFT marketplace in June 2021. Korbit is Korea’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, with around $7 million in 24-hour trading activity.

While worldwide NFT traders prefer to mint and trade on-chain on OpenSea, Korean dealers prefer to use centralized platforms. Although the Klaytn blockchain was built in South Korea and is one of three platforms with native endorsement on OpenSea, trade activity has trailed behind Polygon and Ethereum-based markets.

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