Operator of UPbit Crypto Exchange Earmarks $400M to Invest in Web3 Startups

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Dunamu, the operator of the South Korean crypto exchange UPbit, announced on July 12 that will inject around 500 billion won ($385 million) into 500 Web3 startups in the next five years.

The release highlighted that Dunamu aims to create 10,000 jobs in the space over time. This includes the operator’s plan to recruit 1000 new developers to accelerate the investment target.

Building Korea’s Web3 competitiveness

Sirgoo Lee, CEO of Dunamu said, “Dunamu will contribute to strengthening our country’s industrial competitiveness by investing in new growth areas such as blockchain, NFT (non-fungible token), and metaverse technologies while creating jobs,”

The South Korean operator has announced two programs—UP Start Incubator and Up Start Platform—as part of the roadmap. Under the startup counseling programs of ‘Up Start Incubator,’ Dunamu wants to provide Web3 consulting services to early-age startups working in the blockchain space. On the other hand, the ‘Up Start Platform’ program aims to help fund selected startups by connecting them to investors.

That said, local media reports also confirm that Dunamu will open satellite offices in major cities of Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon, to hire and train fresh graduates.

“We will pave the way for young men building their expertise in the fields of IT development and design working at Dunamu, without leaving their regions,” a Dunamu official told local papers.

That said, the company claims that it will prioritize graduates from local universities to create South Korea’s competitiveness in Web3.

Apart from UPbit, Dunamu owns and operates two investment exchange platforms, Stockplus and U-Stockplus, and an equity management platform called Onboard, per Crunchbase data. Since 2018, it has reportedly invested 88 billion won ($67 million) in blockchain and fintech startups.

Korean Senator pitches an investor protection fund

Last week, News1 reported that Kim Byung-Wook, a parliamentarian for the opposition Democratic Party, pitched an ‘investor protection fund’ stating, “In order to further grow the virtual asset market, the role of the exchanges that have grown on the basis of this market is also very important. We would like to create a so-called ‘Investor Protection Fund’ to open up a virtual asset market where exchanges work with investors.”

The Senator’s statement comes against the backdrop of a meeting of the US and South Korean officials to discuss the Terra collapse and their subsequent investigation.  

Especially when the South Korean prosecutors are looking into possible fraud charges surrounding TerraUSD and Luna while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Do Kwon, co-founder, and CEO of Terraform Labs, on possible violations of investor-protection regulations.


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Shraddha is an India-based journalist who worked in business and financial news before diving into the crypto space. As an investment enthusiast, she has also has a keen interest in understanding crypto from a personal finance standpoint.

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