SK Telecom spinoff buys 35% stake in local crypto exchange Korbit

SK Square, a non-telecoms investment subsidiary of South Korea’s largest wireless carrier Sk Telecom, has invested 90 billion won (about $75 million) in crypto exchange platform Korbit.

According to a statement from the company quoted by Korea JoongAng Daily, SK Square is looking to grow its net asset value by holding Korbit shares. Korbit is one of the “big four” South Korean crypto exchanges alongside Bithumb, Upbit, and Coinone.

Following the investment, SK Square now owns a 35% stake in Korbit. SK Square’s equity stake puts the company as the crypto exchange’s second-largest shareholder behind South Korean investment giant NXC.

Monday’s announcement constitutes SK Square’s first foray into the crypto space since its establishment in August. According to a press release quoted by South Korean news agency Newsis, SK Square and Korbit also plan to jointly promote popular crypto niches like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse.

SK Square has already made some strides in the metaverse scene, investing 8 billion won ($6.7 million) in Onmind, a Kakao-backed 3D avatar production outfit. Yoon Poong-young, the company’s chief investment officer, said SK Square will continue to invest in emerging technologies like blockchain and metaverse to improve its standing as an investment company.

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