The primary listing of VALOR, SMART VALOR’s native cryptocurrency, has been held on Bithumb, one of the largest Korean cryptocurrency exchanges (18th April 2019 at 08:00 UTC). Prior to this Bithumb held an airdrop campaign from 15-17 April, 2019 to distribute 1 VALOR per 2,000,000 KRW of trading amount to its most active traders.
With the listing of VALOR, it becomes one of the rare cases where a token was initially listed directly on Bithumb and not on some smaller exchanges in the first instance. It is a great acknowledgement for us and we are very happy to see the appreciation of the work delivered so far from the side of community and exchanges.
As the SMART VALOR platform is gearing up to the launch of its security token exchange later this year, it is essential to tap into existing networks in other regions to attract a global user base. Listing the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, VALOR on several of the largest Asian exchanges such as Bithumb, will open our platform to millions of already active users in this ecosystem. With 4.3 million active users, Bithumb has strongly positioned itself as one of the largest compliant crypto exchanges.
Therefore, strategically for SMART VALOR this move is aimed at engaging one of the largest crypto nations, South Korea. South Korea today belongs to one of the most active cryptocurrency markets, with every 1 out of 3 people owning some kind of digital assets. In the last few years, frequently South Korea was home to over one third of all global cryptocurrency trading.
A pioneering crypto nation, South Korea is also acknowledged as the most innovative country in the world. According to a league table covering everything from the concentration of tech companies to the number of science and engineering graduates, such as Bloomberg’s Innovation Index, it is the global number one.
But the economic dominance of large conglomerates is a challenge. The local Venture Capital industry is not huge and there is a need for more private investments in start-ups. Unfortunately, currently in South Korea there are no exchanges for security tokens as most regulators are slow to adapt the regulatory environment to enable this new form of funding. Establishing our presence in South Korea, we aim to enable access to STO funding for aspiring Korean tech startups and early stage companies. Listing their tokenized shares on the SMART VALOR platform will help them to establish a global audience of investors and supporters from all over the world, in a legal and compliant way.
From the regulatory perspective, our decision to list on Bithumb was also based on the review of compliance standards applied by the large Asian exchanges under consideration. Bithumb’s robust regulatory stance on compliance, including KYC & AML was one of the convincing arguments for us. In terms of compliance, Bithumb stated that it is listening to the Korean government and the South Korea Blockchain association’s recommendations to strengthen their anti-money laundering deployment. A Bithumb spokesperson said: “We will strictly enforce our own rules and actively cooperate with relevant local authorities while protecting investors.” This stance fits well with SMART VALOR's differentiation of being a fully licensed and compliant financial technology company from day one.