Samsung could launch its own cryptocurrency exchange as early as next year.
According to a report from NewsPim, a South Korean newspaper that is one of the news sources for Factiva, Samsung 005930, +1.19% is one of several companies in the country that has recently attempted to obtain proper licenses from financial authorities for a virtual asset exchange.
The report indicates that Samsung plans to launch its virtual currency company in the first half of 2023. Samsung is using Samsung Securities Co., Ltd. 016360, +0.89%, a financial services company and subsidiary of the larger Samsung Group, to acquire the proper financial licenses for such a move.
In addition to Samsung, six other South Korean companies are looking to get involved in crypto, and are working with the country’s financial regulators to make that happen, the report says. Another one of those companies is Mirae Asset Securities Co., Ltd. 006800, +0.61%, one of the largest investment banking and stock brokerages in South Korea.
Few other details about Samsung’s crypto platform are known yet, and representatives from Samsung were not immediately available for comment.
But it’s not the company’s first foray into cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, Samsung gave some of its popular Galaxy smartphones a blockchain wallet functionality to support virtual assets, including bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.60% and ethereum ETHUSD, +1.19%.
The latest news comes amid a turbulent time for crypto investors. Bitcoin was trading just above $21,000 as of Thursday morning, nearly 70% lower than its all-time high in November 2021, according to CoinDesk data.
Ether prices were hovering around $1,700 on Thursday, down 53% for the year to date.
The total market cap for all crypto nearly hit $3 trillion during parts of 2021, but dipped below $1 trillion in August.
Recent crypto-market conditions have led to a drastic decrease in crypto prices, as well as layoffs at many crypto-related companies. Crypto exchange Coinbase COIN, -0.15% laid off 18% of its employees, and BlockFi plans to lay off 20% of its employees. That’s not all: NFT platform OpenSea is cutting its workforce by 20%, and Gemini plans to lay off 10% of its employees.