South Korea-based crypto exchange Bithumb has announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, the Bithumb Coin.

Because South Korea banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) near the end of last year, the Bithumb Coin token sale will take place abroad. Nearby Singapore seems to be the most likely host; more than one blockchain firm has recently chosen Singapore as a sort of ‘safe haven’ for hosting token sales, including Icon (ICX).

A source familiar with the situation told the EconoTimes that “we know that the Bithumb coin is underway at a local subsidiary acquired by Bithumb’s subsidiary,” although “details such as the specific schedule and issue size have not been confirmed.” (Translated quote.)

The South Korean crypto industry is continuing along a pattern of healthy growth in spite of last year’s ICO ban and other regulatory drama at the beginning of this year. The South Korean ‘Coinone’ exchange recently announced that it will be opening an Indonesian branch.

Bithumb’s customer center moved to a larger facility located in Gangnam!
👉https://t.co/YhYBpxISk2

We have counselors who can speak English, Chinese and Japanese. pic.twitter.com/7YKhHuiShp

— Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) March 19, 2018

Native Tokens Are a Growing Trend for Exchanges

In line with an industry trend that is moving further from individual investors, the Bithumb Coin ICO will be targeted toward institutional investors.

Bithumb is only the latest of a growing number of cryptocurrency exchanges that have made the decision to create their own tokens. Exchanges are increasingly using native tokens as a way to incentivize users to use and continuously support business.

Huobi recently announced the creation of the Ethereum-based ‘Huobi Token’; Binance already has the ‘Binance Coin’ (BNB).

BNB tokens can be used to pay for trading on Binance at a significant discount; the exchange also ‘burns’ coins every quarter to increase token scarcity, and thus token value.

KuCoin’s native token, ‘KuCoin Shares’, rewards its holders with returns generating from fee collection on the exchange.