Korea Bitcoin exchange receives $400,000 in Silicon Valley funding
South Korea Bitcoin exchange Korbit has announced that it will receive $400,000 in seed funding from a group of Silicon Valley investors. While the value of the investment may not be very significant by Silicon Valley standards, investors in Korbit include founder of venture capital DFJ Tim Draper, founder of AngelList Naval Ravikant, founder of SV Angel David Lee and founder of SecondMarket and high profile Bitcoin advocate Barry Silbert.
More about Korbit
Korbit is a Korean startup founded by Tony Lyu, and is now profitable after less than one year of operations. It is the biggest Bitcoin exchange in Korea with more than 20,000 registered users. Korbit has also received seed funding from Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, a group established by Korea’s banking alliance.
On 15 January 2014, Korbit started processing all deposit and withdrawal operations in real-time and boasted to be the world’s fastest Bitcoin buying platform, with users being able to go from sign-up to bank deposit and Bitcoin withdrawal in under 3 minutes.
“Bitcoin’s growth in Korea is remarkable for the sophistication of the public dialog around its potential for innovation and wealth creation,” said Tim Draper. “Korbit is setting a great example for Bitcoin companies around the world by laying a healthy foundation for digital currencies in the Korean economy. Korea can play a leading role in the future of global finance by capitalizing on innovations like Bitcoin.”
The video below is an interview with Tony Lyu on his startup by seedstars.tv.
South Korea regulations
Last December, South Korea declared that it does not recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender. This is understandable, as the officials said that Bitcoin simply does not meet the conditions to be considered a currency. Thus, it does not meet the standard regulations governing online transactions.
On the other hand, Korbit’s investment was in part due to Korbit’s initial contact with the investors occurred through a Korean event, beGLOBAL in Silicon Valley last September, which was sponsored by the Ministry for ICT & Future Planning. In other words, it would appear that the Korean government is not anti-Bitcoin and is actually supportive in its development.