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Bithumb to break Upbit’s monopoly

Korea's time


Bithumb to break Upbit’s monopoly

Bithumb Korea Customer Service Center in Seoul / Yonhap
Bithumb Korea Customer Service Center in Seoul / Yonhap

By Park Jae-hyuk

Financial authorities have taken action for Bithumb to prevent Upbit from consolidating its monopoly status in the local market, allowing the country’s second cryptocurrency exchange to allow its users to trade their cryptocurrencies for the Korean won. .

According to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU), its Virtual Asset Service Provider Selection Committee approved Bithumb’s application, submitted on September 9, last Friday.

As a result, Bithumb became the latest cryptocurrency exchange to allow Korean won-based transactions, among the country’s four largest cryptocurrency exchanges that have been provided with real-name accounts from domestic commercial banks.

In Korea, cryptocurrency exchanges that do not come with real-name accounts of domestic commercial banks restrict users to exchanging their cryptocurrencies for different types of cryptocurrency.

“We will continue to make efforts to protect investors and improve our customer service, so that Bithumb can be the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the country, said a Bithumb official.

Bithumb’s screening took longer than Upbit, Korbit, and Coinone.

Dunamu, the operator of Upbit, which submitted its application on August 20, obtained approval on September 17. Korbit and Coinone, who both submitted their application on September 10, got their approval on October 1 and November 12, respectively. .

When Coinone got its approval earlier this month, financial authorities said they needed more time to screen Bithumb, so observers speculated that the ongoing lawsuit involving Lee Jung hoon, who is considered the de facto owner of Bithumb, has obstructed the approval of the latter’s application.

The situation has also raised concerns among market insiders as well as lawmakers that Upbit may continue to monopolize the domestic market, given that Korbit and Coinone do not have enough users to reduce the market share of the market. ‘Upbit, which reached 88% in September.

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