Nearly 70 South Korean Crypto Exchanges May Have to Suspend Service: Report

The deadline to register with South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit is Sept. 24, but only four exchanges have registered so far.

Sep 20, 2021 at 6:46 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 20, 2021 at 7:03 p.m. UTC

Nearly 70 crypto exchanges in South Korea may have to partially or fully suspend trading services on Friday, according to a report from Reuters.

  • In April, officials from South Korea’s top financial regulatory body, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), announced that all exchanges in the country must register with the FSC’s anti-money laundering enforcement arm, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU).
  • Exchanges were given a Sept. 24 deadline to complete the registration process, which includes proving partnerships with an internet security agency and a bank to ensure they meet know-your-customer (KYC) requirements and have real-name accounts.
  • So far, only four exchanges – Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit – have fully registered and satisfied the KFIU’s requirements.
  • According to Reuters, 40 exchanges have not registered at all and may cease operations on Friday.
  • Twenty-eight other exchanges have registered with KFIU but have not yet secured bank partnerships. These will be allowed to continue operating partially, but will not be able to make settlements in won, the country’s currency.
  • South Korean authorities have threatened to block the websites of unregistered exchanges after the Sept. 24 deadline.


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Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy.