South Korea to ban foreign cryptocurrency exchange with no permit

South Korea to ban foreign crypto exchanges lacking permit

18 August 2022


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South Korea is ready to block domestic access to foreign cryptocurrency exchanges with no proper registration to operate in the country and could launch a probe into the companies.

An intelligence unit of the Financial Services Commission has reported 16 foreign crypto businesses to the nation’s investigative body and asked other agencies to block access to the firms’ local websites, according to a statement on Thursday. 

The statement listed the companies as KuCoin, MEXC, Phemex,, Bitrue,, Bitglobal, CoinW, CoinEX, AAX, ZoomEX, Poloniex, BTCEX, BTCC, DigiFinex and Pionex and advised prison terms of as much as five years or fines of up to 50 million won ($37,900) for people operating unregistered and illegal business.

Officials intend to report violations to the countries where the companies originate from and will seek to isolate them from the rest of the local cryptocurrency sector if they fail to get the requisite permits.

Last year South Korea mandated that cryptocurrency platforms must receive Information Security Management System certification; since then, more than half of the nation’s crypto exchanges ended operation. Currently, 35 virtual-asset service providers are registered as legal platforms in the country, according to the government. The latter include Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit and Gopax, five exchanges which account for more than 99% of domestic market share.


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