As Bitcoin trading and use spreads through medium-sized countries, local exchanges, wallets and processors are popping up left and right.
South Korea’s Korbit is one of the latest and it’s picking up $400,000 in funding from angels including Tim Draper, AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, SV Angel’s David Lee and SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert, who created a Bitcoin Opportunity Fund. Also participating are Pietro Dova of XG Ventures, Michael Yang, co-founder of mySimon, and Jay Eum, co-founder of Translink Capital.
Interestingly enough, Korea’s government Ministry of Science helped broker contact between the startup and its angels. They had organized a pitch event in Silicon Valley where Draper was the judge.
The company, which is already profitable, does about $300,000 in trading volume per day with a 0.6 percent fee on buys and sells. They have about 20,000 registered users, and recently launched real-time processing for deposits and withdrawals. Although they are currently an exchange, they plan to launch wallets eventually.
Right now, like many other countries, the South Korean government doesn’t recognize Bitcoin as a currency. But CEO Tony Lyu says the government seems to be taking a “wait-and-see” approach otherwise. It’s not clear yet if gaming platforms, search portals and other big consumer destinations on the web and mobile in South Korea will be able to charge in Bitcoin.