LINE's Crypto Exchange to Cease Activity in South Korea Ahead of Regulatory Deadline: Report

The development shows potential for many foreign exchanges to pull or limit services within the country ahead of tougher regulations.

Aug 17, 2021 at 2:33 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:40 p.m. UTC

A crypto exchange subsidiary of Japanese tech giant LINE is reportedly limiting its services in South Korea next month.

According to a report by Yonhap News on Tuesday, LINE's U.S.-based Bitfront exchange will cease providing a Korean-language service on Sept. 14. The exchange will also stop payments with Korean credit cards by the same date.

The development shows one of the first of potentially many foreign exchanges deciding to pull or limit services within the country ahead of tougher regulations.

Earlier this month, one of the world's largest crypto exchange by trade volume, Binance, halted trading pairs and payment options using the South Korean won, intending to proactively comply with local regulations.

South Korea's Financial Transaction Reports Act is requiring all crypto exchanges to register with regulators by Sept. 24 and to obtain a certificate on information security.

The certificate, issued by the Korea Internet and Security Agency, is a requirement for virtual asset service providers, including crypto exchanges, in order to operate within the country.

South Korea's Financial Intelligence Unit has been pushing for exchanges to register in line with the country's new anti-money laundering laws.

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