TTwo of the biggest shareholders in Dunamu, the operator of the dominant cryptocurrency change in South Korea, are the primary two individuals within the nation from the crypto business to develop into billionaires as the worth of their startup skyrocketed 21 occasions in lower than a yr.
Final week, Hybe, the company behind the Ok-pop sensation BTS, purchased a 2.5% stake in Dunamu for 500 billion gained (about $ 400 million), valuing the crypto startup at $ 17 billion. The brand new ranking makes Dunamu one of the helpful startups in Korea, and its founder and chairman Music Chi Hyun and govt vice chairman Kim Hyun Nyung – the brand new billionaires. Forbes Son, 42, is estimated to personal a few quarter of Dunamu, whereas Kim, 45, owns roughly 13%. Dunamu’s new estimate places Music’s stake within the practically 10-year-old startup at $ 3.8 billion; Kim’s is value $ 2 billion. (Forbes applies a ten% low cost to the valuation of personal firms.)
In 2018 Forbes Music was estimated to carry between $ 350 million and $ 500 million in cryptocurrencies. Dunamu didn’t reply to a request for what number of cryptocurrencies are presently owned by Son and Kim personally.
“We consider Dunamu is one of the best ways to put money into the crypto financial system.”
Dunamu, which operates cryptocurrency change Upbit, was beforehand valued at round $ 800 million in February when Seoul-based Hanwha Funding & Securities purchased out 6% of US semiconductor large Qualcomm in a startup for roughly $ 50 million (Qualcomm invested in Dunamu again in 2015). And in September, Dunamu raised $ 85 million from enterprise capital corporations, together with Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures, with an estimate of about $ 8.7 billion.
“We consider Dunamu is a innovative method to put money into the crypto financial system,” says Oh Moon Suk, a Seoul-based Altos accomplice who has supported firms equivalent to Coupang, Krafton and the unicorn Viva Republica. “Upbit is the primary buying and selling change in Korea that interacts with the crypto ecosystem and serves as one of many few crypto exchanges which might be allowed to simply accept fiat currencies.”
Upbit was one of many few Korean cryptocurrency exchanges to go regulatory scrutiny. Cryptocurrency exchanges in Korea have been required to acquire a safety certification from the nation’s web safety company by September 24 in an effort to be acknowledged as respectable buying and selling platforms and to make sure safe partnerships with banks to make sure that buying and selling accounts belonged to actual individuals. Dozens of exchanges have been unable to acquire a safety certificates and have been shut down.
“Whereas the crypto ecosystem continues to be in its early phases of growth and the adoption of cryptocurrencies as an asset class has but to be confirmed, blockchain expertise and cryptocurrencies as digital property are more and more gaining confidence by way of financial savings, demonstrated by the rising variety of institutional buyers and enhancing regulatory readability, ”provides Oh.
Hybe is working with Dunamu to promote BTS members’ digital photograph playing cards within the type of non-fungible tokens, which have skyrocketed in recognition this yr. NFTs use blockchain expertise to authenticate digital collectibles equivalent to artwork and music. “We’re working with Dunamu to create a method to develop the fan expertise,” mentioned Bang Sihyuk, billionaire founding father of Hybe, in a web based briefing final week. “We’ll mix the alternatives gathered by each firms to this point to carry thrilling new improvements to the worldwide music and fintech industries.”
On the identical time, cryptocurrencies have gotten widespread and the worth of digital property continues to rise. The mixture worth of the cryptocurrency market surpassed $ 3 trillion on Monday as main tokens, together with bitcoin and ether, hit file highs.
Dunamu, positioned in Seoul’s prestigious Gangnam district, was based in 2012 as a information aggregator. He launched Upbit in 2017, and based on the Dunamu web site, the crypto change has over 8 million customers and a complete buying and selling quantity of $ 2.5 trillion. Kakao Ventures, the enterprise capital arm of Korean web large Kakao and the earliest investor Dunamu, reported in a latest remark posted on-line that 80% of Korea’s cryptocurrency transactions are made by Upbit.
Previous to founding Dunamu, Music labored for native cell funds firm Danal and consulting firm Innomove. He holds a BS in Pc Science and Economics from the distinguished Seoul Nationwide College. Kim scrapped plans to pursue an MBA within the late Nineteen Nineties, following a large renovation of Korea’s web infrastructure to work within the then nascent expertise area. Kim additionally graduated from Seoul Nationwide College (though he studied agricultural economics) and labored with Music at Danal.