South Korean City Busan Taps Huobi to Develop Blockchain Infrastructure

The city wants to be a crypto hub.

AccessTimeIconSep 14, 2022 at 8:08 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:47 p.m. UTC

Crypto exchange Huobi Global and its local counterpart Huobi Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Busan to develop the city's local blockchain infrastructure, the company said on Wednesday.

“The City of Busan is pleased to partner with Huobi to foster the growth of our blockchain ecosystem,” Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon said in a statement. “As a blockchain regulation-free zone, Busan offers a conducive environment to develop the latest digital financial technologies, which has attracted many blockchain companies from across the world.”

Huobi Global and Huobi Korea will work closely with the city to develop its nascent blockchain industry by providing research and development, technology and financial support to the Busan Digital Currency Exchange, and helping to recruit workers for the exchange.

Huobi has been operating in South Korea through a local office since 2019, where it is regulated under a license issued by the Korean Financial Services Commission last year. It is among the world's largest crypto exchanges with daily trading volume of over $800 million.

Busan has previously roped in crypto exchanges FTX and Binance to work on its blockchain efforts in broader plans to become a global blockchain and financial hub.

In August, Park said he “will not stop” in his efforts to make Busan a blockchain hub. A CoinDesk visit to Busan’s blockchain center in August, however, revealed that the city's blockchain hub team consisted of fewer than five employees working out of a shared office space.

Local industry observers told CoinDesk at the time that optimistic development plans were dented following the collapse of the Korean stablecoin project Terra in May, after which the government is said to be taking a cautious approach toward the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the country.


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Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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