Bithumb Poised to Launch Global DEX by End-October

 In Exchanges, Governments and Regulations

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is set to roll out its own DEX by the end of October.

South Korean digital assets trading platform Bithumb is set to launch its own global decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) by the end of the month, Business Korea reported on Thursday.

The Bithumb DEX is being developed in partnership with blockchain company One Root Network (RNT), the latter revealed in a blog post on Monday. RNT, which has already deployed a DEX earlier this year, has agreed to provide Bithumb with its Ethereum-based decentralized token transaction protocol.

Dubbed R1, the protocol separates order matching and order execution, which improves security and matching efficiency, according to RNT. The statement emphasized platform aspects such as “traffic sharing” and “a win-win ecosystem.”

Bithumb DEX will be launched through an overseas subsidiary in order to avoid South Korean regulatory restrictions, Business Korea said, citing a company official. The publication also  quoted an unnamed industry source as saying:

“Bithumb is one of the leading global exchanges in terms of transactions but it is true that most of its users are Korean. The latest decision seems to be the company’s strategy to compete with other leading exchanges in the global market by opening a decentralized exchange that receives attention in the global market.”

The centralized Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange is currently the sixth-largest market player, with more than $331 million in trading volume for the 24 hours up to the time of writing.

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In the first half of 2018, Bithumb made $270 million in revenue and $194 million in operating profit. The company has faced several hurdles in the past year, including a $32 million hacking attack, a fine of 60 million won (about $55,000) levied by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) over the leak of private user data, and a temporary suspension of new account creation due to banking woes.

The DEX space is picking up momentum, with industry leader Binance announcing its DEX project in March and InterStellar recently launching its StellarX DEX platform. Several other small decentralized platforms are already up and running.

Unlike centralized exchanges, which rely on a third-party service to trade cryptocurrencies, DEXs allow users to directly trade cryptocurrencies through an automated process. While this enhances security and privacy, it slows down trading speeds, as Business Korea noted.

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