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Crypto .com postpones expansion plans for South Korea, talks with regulators


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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has postponed its planned retail expansion in South Korea, originally scheduled for April 29, in order to engage in further communication with local regulators. The decision comes just six days before the intended launch date.

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“Korea is a difficult market for international exchanges to enter, but we are committed to working with regulators to advance the industry responsibly for Koreans. We will postpone our launch and take this opportunity to make sure Korean regulators understand our thorough policies, procedures, systems and controls,” the exchange said.

The Korean news organization Segye Ilbo reported that South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit visited Crypto.com’s local office on Tuesday after finding “concerning matters” in submitted documents related to anti-money laundering.

Earlier this month, Crypto.com announced plans to launch some of its services in Korea on April 29 with its locally acquired platform OkBIT, which was set to cease its services at the end of the month. The company has not disclosed a new launch date.

“Crypto.com has not onboarded any new customers in Korea since acquiring OkBit,” a Crypto.com spokesperson said. According to this correspondent, OkBit had roughly 900 users at the time of acquisition. The spokesperson also clarified that their access was limited to withdrawals.

South Korea is known for its high demand for cryptoassets, with the topic even becoming an agenda item in recent parliamentary elections. The country’s preferences are skewed toward smaller, often more volatile tokens, known as altcoins, which make up more than 80% of all trading activity in South Korea on average.

According to data from research firm Kaiko, the won was the most traded currency against cryptoassets globally in the first quarter of this year, with a cumulative trade volume of $456 billion on centralized crypto exchanges, compared to $445 billion in dollar volume.

In response to the $40 billion collapse of TerraUSD, the ill-fated stablecoin created by Do Kwon, South Korean regulators have announced plans to introduce tighter user protection rules starting in July.

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