South Korea-based Coinplug, a leading Bitcoin (BTC) exchange, wallet and payment company, has raised 7.5 billion won (appr. $6.4 million) from the venture capital divisions of several major local financial institutions.
Coinplug’s management noted in a press release on October 24 that the investments came from KB Investment, the VC arm of the KB Financial Group, one of South Korea’s largest banking institutions; Mirae Asset Venture Investment, a subsidiary of investment bank and securities broker Mirae Asset Daewoo; and private equity and VC company Smilegate Investment.
Coinplug stated that it would use the new equity funding to develop decentralized identification technologies, an emerging industry that has attracted substantial interest from South Korea’s government and major financial institutions in the East Asian nation.
Established in 2013, Coinplug runs a digital asset exchange with an online wallet and pre-paid bitcoin card services that are available at local convenience stores. The latest investment round is a Series B2 round and has come four years after Coinplug raised $5 million through a Series B round, which was backed by Mirae Asset Venture Investment and B Investment.
A Coinplug investor noted the company’s participation in Busan‘s efforts to become a leading blockchain development center as one of the primary reasons for their involvement in the recent fundraising round.
Coinplug’s developers work with many different financial institutions, including Shinhan Bank, Hyundai Card, KB Card and KB Kookmin Bank. The company is also collaborating with several government agencies, such as the Korea Internet Services Agency (KISA) and Korea Post, and with Busan’s Blockchain De-regulatory Zone.
To date, Coinplug’s management has submitted 262 patent applications and has been granted 98 patents.
Last year, TechCrunch reported that Coinplug was among the first few digital currency exchanges to add support for Coinbase’s and Circle Internet Financial’s USDC stablecoin.