OKCoin Exchange Will Enter S. Korea
OKCoin, a leading Chinese crypto-exchange, has decided to launch its services in South Korea. NHN Entertainment, a South Korean online gaming company, might be planning to invest in OKCoin via its partner , NHN Investment. However, there’s no official confirmation of this as of yet. Cho Jung-hwan, CEO of exchange’s Korean branch, says that the company will begin services in Korea by February. The crypto-trading platform will facilitate trades in over 60 virtual currencies against the Korean won. However, the exchange will start off by offering trading in only 10 different cryptocurrencies. These include bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and a few others.
By comparison, Upbit, its closest competitor offers trading in just 35 different cryptos while the popular Bithumb exchange offers trading in only 12 different cryptos. When you take into account the numerous times Korean exchanges have been hacked, the company would probably be better off if it gave higher priority to beefing up the security of its exchange platform.
Exploring International Markets
OKCoin, based in Beijing and founded in 2013, was forced to close down its local operations in October 2017. This was due to Chinese regulators clamping down on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. Because of this crackdown, the company began to adopt the over-the-counter trading model and exploring international markets.
Currently, the exchange is taking pre-orders for several cryptocurrencies through its newly launched Korean website. The CEO of the exchange states, “we have been preparing the Korean launch for a long time, so there won’t be any problems”. This statement might be in reference to recent efforts by Korean regulators to ban several types of crypto-related activities, including domestic exchanges and anonymous crypto-accounts.
Complying with Crypto Regulations
Mr. Jung-hwan claims that his company’s exchange will operate according to South Korean crypto regulations. It seems strange that OKCoin is trying to establish itself in Korean markets in order to escape the restrictions imposed by Chinese regulators. The company’s efforts might fail because South Korean regulators are not far behind Chinese authorities when it comes to cracking down on crypto-related businesses.
The crypto-market in both China and S. Korea has been targeted for primarily the same issues. In fact, regulators all over the world have scrutinized the use of cryptocurrencies for pretty much the same reasons. These reasons include concerns over crypto’s potential to assist in money-laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist activities. In addition, the governments also fear malicious hackers who’ve managed to infiltrate and steal large amounts of money from various online crypto-exchanges over the years. Although governments have hardly done anything to compensate the victims of these hacks, they don’t seem to want to take on the added responsibility of helping their citizens to recover from these losses. Given the increasingly hostile nature of Korean regulators toward crypto, OKCoin might benefit more by exploring other markets instead.