The South Korean Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) reported the registration of Bithumb crypto exchange under the FIU regulations.
Now Bithumb, Coinone, Upbit, and Korbit provide full cryptocurrency services without crypto-fiat trade limitations
Delays due to fraud charges
Some media reports show that there was a delay in Bithumb’s registration. This is because of claims that its major shareholder, Lee Jung-hoon, faced fraud charges.
According to Bitcoinik.com, the CEO of Bithumb exchange, Heo Back-Young, was happy and excited about the successful FIU registration. In a public statement, he appreciated all users. He pledged to “do his best to focus on introducing cryptocurrencies based on a strict listing process.” He further claimed that prioritizing investor protection is key.
Heo Back-Young also said, “Bithumb is contemplating various ways to create a transparent ecosystem. This includes the establishment of an investor protection committee that can manage and supervise illegal activities led by external experts for the first time in the industry.”
Facts about exchanges in South Korea
On March 25th, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) set two requirements for approval of exchanges. First, the exchanges should receive an Information Security Management (ISMS) certification. This proves they can protect users’ personal information.
Getting a partnership deal with a local bank in South Korea is also a requirement so that users can withdraw and deposit using bank accounts under their real names. This act reduces the risks of crimes like embezzlement, price manipulation, and money laundering.
These two requirements left only 28 out of 64 exchanges operational. Out of the 28, only four crypto exchanges have fulfilled the requirements to process cash to crypto services. The remaining 24 acquired only the ISMS certification and not the banking partnership. They can only transact token-to-token exchanges.
As Bithumb received its approval, the FIU accepted business reports from Flybit and GDAC, smaller exchanges in South Korea. But, these two cannot give cash-to-crypto services as they have no bank partnership.
The future of Bithumb
According to The Korea Times, the approval of Bithumb as a virtual asset provider is a big win in Korea’s cryptocurrency sector. Bithumb will become one of the latest leading cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea.
A Bithumb official said, “We will continue to make efforts to protect investors and improve our customer service so that Bithumb can be the nation’s leading cryptocurrency exchange.” Experts believe that Bithumb regulatory approval will break the Upbit monopoly.
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