• Despite restrictions, the ‘Big Four’ South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges continue to exist

  • South Korea’s ‘Big 4’ coin exchanges are still going strong.

    29 of the 66 South Korean crypto exchanges rushed to meet a regulatory deadline on September 24. Following this, the market now anticipates a significant consolidation, with only the “big four” coin exchanges remaining strong.

    According to local media, only Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit were able to secure partnerships with local commercial banks under the country’s revised guidelines. While all regulatory hurdles have yet to be overcome, the four exchanges are reportedly capable of allowing cryptocurrency trading in exchange for Korean won.

    However, the review of 29 submitted registration applications may take up to three months. The exchanges will now be subject to regulatory compliance on issues such as money laundering. All licensed exchanges will have adopted the Financial Action Taskforce’s (FATF) anti-money laundering standards known as the “travel rule” by March.

    According to reports, any failure to comply will result in penalties or even the closure of crypto businesses. At the moment, 37 exchanges may be on the verge of being shut down due to a lack of required registration.

    Meanwhile, other coin exchanges, such as GOPAX, Gdac, and Huobi Korea, have reportedly failed to form partnerships with any commercial bank. As a result, they only provided cryptocurrency trading services and could not be exchanged for fiat money.

    According to a representative from a cryptocurrency exchange,

    “The fact that many unqualified exchanges are sorted out during the registration process is significant.”

    Under the revised conditions, registered exchanges, crypto-wallets, and trustee businesses were all attempting to obtain a government license. However, the remaining unregistered businesses that may close in the coming days are not expected to have a significant impact on the market. However, experts believe that the discontinuation of Korean won-trading services will have a negative impact on the revenue of other coin exchanges.

    There were also growing concerns that the “big four” would dominate the market as an oligopoly. According to local reports, the National Assembly currently has four draft bills on its table. These bills, along with other upcoming proposals, may provide greater clarity for the sector’s regulations.

    Meanwhile, there is a great deal of uncertainty that will take some time to dispel. As a result, the consequences of any of the existing exchange-bank partnerships are unknown.

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