Upbit, and 3 others are the only surviving South Korean crypto exchanges after the September 24 deadline issued by regulators.
While there are 66 crypto exchanges based out in South Korea, only 29 of them had raced against time to meet the deadline. However, just 4 out of the 29 have met the requirements, and now stand strong as the ‘big 4’.
According to local reports, only Upbit, Korbit, Coinone, and Bithumb were able to secure partnerships with local banks as required by the regulatory guidelines. Although, even the big 4 are yet to scale through all the regulatory hurdles. But at least, they are reportedly permitted to carry on with their cryptocurrency transactions in exchange for the Korean won.
From all indications, there might be hope for the 29 exchanges who submitted applications for registration. While their applications can take up to 3 whole months for review, the remaining 37 businesses might currently be on the brink of closing down.
As earlier reported, all exchanges in South Korea must now comply with regulations on issues like fraud and money laundering. Also, by March of 2022, all licensed exchanges must have adopted the anti-money laundering rule called the “travel rule.”
Meanwhile, in a shocking revelation, popular Huobi Korea, Gdac, and even GOPAX coin exchanges have all reportedly failed to partner with any commercial bank.
This new regulatory development seems like a welcome idea to some partners in the cryptocurrency ecosystem though. An official at a crypto exchange told the local media how it makes a whole lot of sense that the unqualified exchanges are sorted out and removed from the equation.
Concerns are also rising at the moment however, and reasonably so. So many questions are currently being asked about the ‘big 4’ in what would look like serious dominance of the market under an oligopoly. More reports from local news can also confirm that presently, the National Assembly has no less than four draft bills on its table. These bills together with some other upcoming proposals will hopefully shed more light around these crypto regulations.