BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is reportedly launching services in South Korea this month. In addition to a cryptocurrency exchange, the company will offer a wallet service, a mining pool, and a consumer payments service, according to its Korean website.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

BTCC Expanding Into South Korea

BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is launching services in South Korea on Oct. 31, according to the Investor. The beta service will start this month and the exchange “will make its official debut in November,” the publication added.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea“The world’s first cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is preparing to open in Korea,” the company wrote on its Korean website’s homepage. Four services are listed: an exchange, a wallet service, a mining pool, and a service to facilitate consumer payments. “BTCC is establishing an on / offline payment system using cryptocurrency,” its website states, adding that it “is expanding services for real-life use.”

The news outlet elaborated:

BTCC said it will expand its footprint through strategic tie-ups with local and global firms.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaFounded in 2011, BTCC was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume before the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September last year. The government’s action caused all major cryptocurrency exchanges to exit China and move their operations overseas.

Following the crackdown, BTCC shut down its operations in China and re-launched its services in Hong Kong. The company is now headquartered in Hong Kong but serves a global customer base. The new BTCC exchange offers the trading of five cryptocurrencies against the USD — BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and DASH. In addition, the latter four cryptocurrencies can be traded against BTC. The BTCC Korea exchange, however, has not announced which coins will be supported.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea
Cryptocurrencies supported on the main BTCC website.

Korean Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaThe South Korean cryptocurrency market is dominated by four exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Bithumb is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country by trading volume while Upbit is the largest by the number of coins listed. Upbit, which offers the trading of 164 coins in 276 markets, is a partner of U.S.-based exchange Bittrex and is backed by Kakao Corp., the operator of the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.

On Oct. 12, Bithumb confirmed that it was sold to a consortium led by a well-known plastic surgeon, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Another major cryptocurrency exchange that exited China and entered the South Korean market following the Chinese government’s crackdown is Huobi. The exchange launched its Korean operations in March, offering the trading of over 100 coins in over 200 markets, according to its website.

What do you think of BTCC expanding into South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says

The South Korean government is expected to announce its position on initial coin offerings in November, according to a high-ranking official. The decision will follow the outcome of the survey which the country’s Financial Supervisory Service recently sent out to domestic blockchain companies.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

ICO Stance Expected in November

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official SaysHong Nam-ki, Chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, conveyed during a parliamentary audit on Thursday that “The Korean government is likely to announce its stance on the much–disputed status of initial coin offerings [ICOs] in November,” the Investor reported.

He explained that a survey on ICOs has been sent to local blockchain companies by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). The FSS is responsible for setting some policies on cryptocurrencies including anti-money laundering measures. The aim of the survey is “to gather their [survey recipients] views on the current legal framework” for ICOs, the publication added. “We did the survey as some companies are conducting or preparing for ICOs despite the ban here,” Hong clarified and was further quoted saying:

We have had several discussions (on ICOs)…Once the survey results are in by end-October, we plan to finalize the government’s stance.

Money Today also quoted him reaffirming, “I intend to form a government position on ICOs next month.”

The South Korean government banned all forms of ICOs in September last year but has yet to introduce any law governing them. This has caused a number of Korean blockchain companies to launch their tokens abroad, providing the opportunity for domestic investors to continue to invest in ICOs.

Korean Government’s ICO Survey

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official SaysThe ICO survey sent by the FSS has troubled businesses that received it, according to local media. Questions in the survey concern any ICO projects companies may be involved with or are planning to engage in, including reasons to issue tokens and their methods of distribution, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

While the FSS says that the survey is not mandatory and that it only seeks “to understand the exact situation of the industry, not for sanctions,” companies are reluctant to disclose certain information since ICOs are currently banned in the country, the publication noted. An official of a company that received the survey told the news outlet:

We have decided [that it’s] our internal policy to respond to [the survey due to] the concerns that it may be disadvantageous to be listed on the [government’s] blacklist if it is declined.

FSC’s Current ICO Stance

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s top financial regulator, has reaffirmed its stance on ICOs for the time being.

Korean Government Expected to Announce ICO Stance in November, Official Says
FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku.

“The government does not deny the promise of the blockchain industry,” FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku was quoted by Yonhap saying on Thursday. However, “I do not think it is necessary to equate the virtual currency business with the blockchain industry,” he said, elaborating:

Many people say ICOs should be allowed, but ICOs’ uncertainty remains, and damage is too serious and obvious.

Choi also emphasized the need for more crypto exchanges to use the real-name system that the government implemented in January. The regulator aims to convert all crypto trading accounts to real-name ones. However, banks have only been providing the real-name conversion service to the country’s four top crypto exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. All other exchanges continue to use their corporate accounts which the regulator says are prone to money laundering.

“We have to convince the banks,” Choi asserted, recognizing that currently “commercial banks do not give real-name accounts to some virtual currency exchanges.”

What do you think the Korean government will announce in November? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based Consortium

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has reportedly been sold to a Singapore-based consortium for approximately 400 billion won or $354 million. Bk Global Consortium, led by plastic surgeon Kim Byung-gun, will acquire the controlling stake and become the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Bithumb Sold

A spokesman for Bithumb confirmed Friday that the exchange “was sold for about $354 million to a consortium led by a plastic surgeon,” Reuters reported and quoted him saying:

Bk Global Consortium, led by Kim Byung-gun, plastic surgeon and blockchain platform investor, signed a deal on Thursday to buy 50 percent plus one share in the exchange’s biggest stakeholder, BTC Holdings, for about 400 billion won ($354.09 million). The deal makes Bk Global Consortium the largest stakeholder of Bithumb.

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based ConsortiumThe deal will be finalized in February, Bloomberg further quoted the spokesman. Bithumb’s April audit report shows that BTC Holdings was the largest shareholder, with a 75.99 percent stake in the exchange. The second largest shareholder, Vidente Co. Ltd., held a 10.55 percent stake, followed by Omnitel at 8.44 percent, Chosun detailed.

Kim founded Bk Plastic Surgery 23 years ago and is the representative of the Bk Medical Group, which links China, Singapore and Korea, MTN detailed. He also established an ICO platform in Singapore last August.

About Bithumb

South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore-Based ConsortiumBithumb is currently South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. According to Vidente, the exchange posted 218.6 billion won of operating profit and 39.3 billion won of net income in the first half of the year, Bloomberg described. Semi-annual reports of BTC Holdings show that Bithumb’s sales reached 303 billion won in the first half of this year.

In addition, News Asia reported that the price which Bk Global paid for Bithumb is lower than the exchange’s $880 million valuation appraised in early February, adding that the consortium’s own valuation of the exchange is even higher, at more than two trillion won plus the management rights premium. The news outlet quoted a Bk Global Consortium official asserting:

We will also promote the introduction of a stable coin to stabilize the payment system. We will be in conjunction with the global exchange scheme to take advantage of the coin linked to the US dollar.

In June, Bithumb said it was hacked and 11 cryptocurrencies were stolen. The estimated damage was about 19 billion won. This week, the exchange launched two indices to track the cryptocurrency markets.

What do you think of Bk Global Consortium acquiring the controlling stake of Bithumb? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

The largest crypto exchange in South Korea by trading volume, Bithumb, has launched two cryptocurrency market indices. One tracks all coins listed on the exchange while the other tracks only altcoins. Meanwhile, Upbit, the country’s largest crypto exchange by the number of coins listed, has two similar indices and sub-indices divided into three broad categories.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bithumb Launches Crypto Indices

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market IndicesBithumb announced Wednesday the launch of Bithumb Crypto Index (BTCI) which comprises two separate indices.

The exchange detailed:

BTCI has been developed in consideration of market representation and liquidity to provide investors with a single indicator that can show the trends of the cryptocurrency market. It consists of Bithumb Market Index (BTMI)…and Bithumb Altcoin Market Index (BTAI).

BTMI is calculated based on all cryptocurrencies listed on Bithumb while BTAI only takes into account “all non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies” listed on the exchange. The former aims to provide “an overall view of the price changes in the cryptocurrency market” while the latter “a view of the price changes in the cryptocurrency market excluding bitcoin.” Bithumb began calculating BTCI on July 1. The index is calculated real-time and updated every 10 seconds.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

At the time of this writing, Bithumb is South Korea’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap. With 53 cryptocurrencies listed for trading against the Korean won, the exchange has a 24-hour trading volume of $726,488,270.

Upbit’s Crypto Indices

The country’s largest crypto exchange by the number of coins listed, the Kakao-backed Upbit, also has a crypto index called Upbit Cryptocurrency Index (UBCI). Launched in May, the index consists of two main indices: Upbit Market Index (UBMI) and Upbit Altcoin Index (UBAI). However, there are also over 20 sub-indices grouped into three broad categories: market, theme, and strategy.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices“The index is designed to help investors grasp the movements of the cryptocurrency market at a quick glance,” Business Korea detailed at the time and quoted Lee Seok-woo, the president of Dunamu Inc. which operates Upbit, commenting:

The UBCI will become a standard in observing the whole cryptocurrency market…We will improve it in terms of technology and management to make it a representative index not only in the Korean market but in the global market.

Largest South Korean Exchange Launches Crypto Market Indices

At the time of this writing, Upbit has a 24-hour trading volume of $292,249,180, making it the second-largest crypto exchange in Korea by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap. The exchange currently has 166 coins listed and supports 276 markets.

What do you think of Korean exchanges’ crypto indices? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korea Remains Firm on ICO Ban Despite Calls for Legality, For Now

South Korea ICOThe chairman of South Korea’s primary markets regulator has reaffirmed the authority’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban in a top-level meeting on Thursday. Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku has told lawmakers during the annual government audit in a parliamentary meeting that the authority will stick to its policy of a sweeping blanket ban

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Korean Crypto Exchange Sued for Controversial Token Schemes

Korean Crypto Exchange Sued for Controversial Token Schemes

A lawsuit has reportedly been filed in South Korea against a local cryptocurrency exchange over its price-pumping schemes involving token issuance. The suit alleges that Cashierest’s token which pays dividends and rebates transaction fees to investors violates the country’s capital markets law.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

The Lawsuit

South Korean law firm Aone filed a complaint with Seoul Central District Court on Oct. 5 against Newlink Co. Ltd., the owner of crypto exchange Cashierest, according to local media. Lawyer Kim Dong-joo at Aone’s Seocho branch explained that his firm is pursuing charges against the crypto exchange for deviating from the public interest in order to restore the health of the cryptocurrency market, Zdnet Korea conveyed.

Korean Crypto Exchange Sued for Controversial Token Schemes

The publication described one of the schemes used by the exchange as “Criminal pumping, the so-called ‘cage pumping,’ which induces price increases while restricting the withdrawal of cryptocurrency.”

Korean Crypto Exchange Sued for Controversial Token SchemesThe suit alleges that Cashierest has committed two illegal acts by issuing its “dividend coin [called] cap (CAP)” on the capital market, according to the news outlet. The first is a “violation of the securities issuance procedure,” as defined in Article 119 of the country’s Capital Markets Act. The other is a violation of Article 178 which prohibits unfair trading. The publication emphasized that the exchange engages in unfair practices to pump the price of its token.

Dividends, Trade Mining, Referral Mining

At the heart of the lawsuit is CAP, the exchange’s own token. First issued in August, the token has three features: dividends, trade mining, and referral mining. CAP’s whitepaper reads, “By possessing CAP, you can receive 100% of profits of Cashierest’s exchange charges. Regarding charges issued with each market (KRW, BTC, ETH, TUSD), the refund of charges will be 100% refunded in each applicable currency.”

Korean Crypto Exchange Sued for Controversial Token Schemes

Under the dividend section, Cashierest’s website explains that the coin “pays the first dividend in KRW,” adding that it also pays “100% of the Cashierest transaction fee revenue in KRW in proportion to the customer’s CAP reserves by two snapshots a month.”

Under the trade mining section, the website states that “The transaction fee is 100% refunded, and returns 70% of the transaction fee to the trader.” Trade mining has been called controversial and a scam. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, for example, said in July:

The cleverly masked selling of coins through enticing words like trade-mining… these models are simply scams to sell their coin(s), and not great innovations.

The last of CAP’s features is referral mining which allows referrers to receive 30 percent of the transaction fees paid to the exchange by their referees, the exchange detailed.

In April, news.Bitcoin.com reported on Cashierest having a computer system glitch that allowed customers to withdraw more coins than intended.

What do you think of this Korean exchange’s token schemes? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Philippines Deports Mastermind of $33 Million Bitcoin Pyramid Scheme

The Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines had ordered the deportation of a South Korean national who is wanted in South Korea over his involvement in a bitcoin pyramid scheme. Identified as Go Yongsung, the South Korean was arrested in the city of Las Pinas. According to Jaime Morente, a Bureau of Immigration Commissioner, the

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South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO Legislation

South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO Legislation

Korean lawmakers are increasingly pushing for the regulation of initial coin offerings (ICOs) with multiple bills currently pending at the National Assembly. This includes a proposed amendment to the Electronic Financial Transactions Act. Meanwhile, the Korean Blockchain Association has also come up with its own set of guidelines for crypto exchanges and ICOs.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Five Crypto-Related Bills

South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO LegislationIt has been about a year since initial coin offerings (ICOs) were banned in South Korea, but the government has yet to introduce a set of guidelines for them.

There are more than five crypto-related bills pending in the National Assembly, Chosun wrote on Friday. In addition, lawmaker Park Yong-jin of the Democratic Party has proposed an amendment to the Electronic Financial Transactions Act, which would regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, the publication added.

South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO LegislationRepresentative Ha Tae-kyung said last week that ten lawmakers who worked on this bill are pushing for the government to lift the ban on ICOs. The bill proposes definitions of crypto-related businesses such as trading, brokerage, and management.

Furthermore, ICO issuers must ensure that their tokens adhere to certain standards and obtain approval from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) before launching ICOs, Asia Economy TV explained. Chosun added that with the FSC being part of the process, it will “strengthen the stability and credibility” of the crypto industry.

Looking Abroad

South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO LegislationAt a National Assembly meeting on Tuesday, the FSC was questioned about its ICO policy.

“Min Byung-doo, a Democratic Party member asked [the FSC about] the possibility of a change in the government’s policy on the ICO ban,” the Korea Economic Daily reported. He explained that a number of other countries such as the U.S., Switzerland, and Singapore have embraced ICOs.

Responding to Min’s question, FSC Chairman Choi Jong-ku emphasized that “The current policy of banning ICOs has not changed,” adding:

We are investigating the side effects of initial coin offerings (ICOs) from cases in overseas countries.

After token sales were banned in September last year, local companies have been fulfilling their needs abroad in countries which allow ICOs, such as Singapore and Switzerland.

Self-Regulatory Plans

South Korean Regulators Discuss Proposals for ICO LegislationThe Korean Blockchain Association unveiled its self-regulatory guidelines for crypto exchanges and ICOs at a blockchain event in Seoul on Tuesday, Asia Economy Daily reported. The association has been trying to enforce self-regulation on its members that are crypto exchanges.

The association’s chairman, Chin Dae-je, detailed that an ICO will be permitted after the group has examined the feasibility of the project by reviewing its whitepaper, the publication conveyed. The whitepaper must include information such as project name, services, investors, technology sources, schedules, and investment risks. In addition, the token issuer must collect “only transparent funds” from identified investors.

Also in the guidelines is an exchange registration system, a capital requirement of more than 2 billion won (~$1.77 million), listing criteria, fee disclosure requirements, a complaint management system, and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.

Do you think South Korea will regulate ICOs soon? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Korean Crypto Giant Bithumb is Launching a Decentralized Exchange

Perhaps inspired by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance to launch a decentralized exchange (DEX) by 2019, Bithumb, a major digital asset trading platform in South Korea, has announced its plans to operate a DEX in the months to come. Bithumb DEX, which is expected to target the global cryptocurrency market, will be launched under

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Regulation for Legitimacy: South Korea Nears ICO Legalization

Min Byung-Doo, a member of the country’s governing Democratic party and the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee, has strongly encouraged the government to legalize initial coin offering (ICO) and impose better crypto-related regulatory frameworks to legitimize the local market. “Regulation is not bad. Regulation is necessary, it is the only way to legitimize the … Continued

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