South Korean Bitcoin Startup Coinplug Secures Further $400k Investment

Jon Southurst
Apr 3, 2014 at 10:11 UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2014 at 11:37 UTC

South Korean bitcoin services startup Coinplug announced this week that it has secured another $400,000 funding in a personal investment from Tim Draper of venture capital firm DFJ.

Chol Hwan Kim from Key Initiatives Technical Entrepreneur also participated in the investment.

This funding is in addition to the $400,000 Coinplug has already received from Silicon Valley investor SilverBlue in November last year.

Bitcoin ATM, Gangnam style

As well as its bitcoin exchange, Coinplug also develops wallet and merchant payment software. Last month it even launched its own two-way bitcoin ATM in Gangnam, Seoul, in partnership with the largest ATM hardware manufacturer outside the US, Nautilus Hyosung.

Coinplug’s Richard Yun said the company would use the money to hire more engineers to expedite development of its bitcoin payment solutions. The company is also planning to release English versions of its software around the end of April.

Yun added:

“Also, the ATM is doing good. Many people are happy to visit, purchase and sell bitcoin. Because of our bitcoin ATM, people changed their bitcoin point of view, they can convert [digital currency] to fiat money instantly.”

He promised that Coinplug would reveal more about how much revenue the ATM was generating at a later date, and was interested in selling the technology to buyers overseas.

People in Korea were generally becoming more aware of bitcoin and curious about using it, he said, but some had been put off by negative reports in the media about high profile bitcoin company failures like Mt. Gox. The overall mood towards bitcoin in the country “may be neutral”, he explained.

Aiming at gaming

As for Coinplug’s future directions, Yun said that Korea’s reputation as a mobile and online gaming haven represented a huge potential market for bitcoin.

The company is targeting this market, including massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and K-Pop and K-Drama online payment solutions, as well as general social and e-commerce.

Furthermore, the company is developing a secure and user-friendly point of sale (POS) system for both commercial (integrated into the current system) and personal use, which would be aimed at customers both in Korea and overseas.