Chinese exchanges balk at moving into S. Korea's cryptocurrency market

Park Sae-jin  Reporter Posted : 2018-01-03 15:50 Updated : 2018-01-03 15:50
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[Yonhap / EPA]

SEOUL, Jan. 03 (Aju News) -- Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges have balked at opening their trading houses in South Korea apparently due to the proposed implementation of tough regulations aimed at curbing a frenzy of speculative investment.

Beijing virtually stopped all yuan-based virtual money trade last year with its central bank describing the sale of cryptocurrencies as an "illegal fundraising practice". Chinese exchanges such as OKCoin and Huobi halted trading services for local customers but they tried to find a way out abroad.

Cryptocurrency industry officials told Aju News on Wednesday that OKCoin and Huobi were lost in their tracks even in South Korea after regulators vowed to impose strong regulations on domestic digital money transactions.

South Korea landed a heavy blow to the country's flailing cryptocurrency exchanges, forbidding the issuing of anonymous virtual bank accounts for cryptocurrency trade. The government officials also have hinted at additional regulations.

Originally, the Chinese exchanges had planned to launch brokerage services for South Korean investors in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Etherium and Bitcoin Cash. However, South Korea unveiled a series of steps to regulate speculation in cryptocurrency trading.

South Korean regulators vowed to block the opening of anonymous virtual bank accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges which have attracted students, housewives and other ordinary folks who could become the victims of excessive volatility.