In a fresh new development, China’s former and biggest cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin is planning to set up its operations in South Korea. this announcement is quite surprising as it comes amidst heavy speculations uncertainty floating in South Korea’s cryptocurrency market. Reportedly, OKCoin will be moving to South Korea as quick as next month.
The cryptocurrency exchange has also established its own OKCoin Korea website and is currently accepting pre-orders for several cryptocurrencies even before the official launch.
As per the reports by South Korean media outlet News1, OKCoin will be launching a joint operation in partnership with NHN Entertainment who is one of the biggest developer and distributor of PC and mobile games in South Korea. NHN Entertainment is expected to provide OKCoin with the necessary capital and resources to compete against the already established and local players like Coinone, Bithumbm, Korbit, and UpBit.
As per the report, OKCoin aims to list many cryptocurrencies on its platform in comparison to existing rivals like UpBit and Bithumb. Currently, both these platforms have around 10 to 30 cryptocurrencies integrated into its platform. OKCoin will reportedly have more than 60 cryptocurrencies integrated into its platform which is more than all of the local cryptocurrency exchanges, combined.
President of OKCoin, Chris Lee recently told News 1 that the company is aiming to establish itself as a global cryptocurrency exchanges and is currently housing over 100 full-time developers. Having faced a regulatory and operational ban in China last year in September 2017, Chris Lee said that it would be beneficial for his company to expand its wings in global markets, and to begin with, one of Asia’s biggest cryptocurrency markets South Korea as a safe haven.
However, OKCoin is not the first Chinese cryptocurrency exchange to make an overseas move. Last month in December 2017, another Chinese exchange Huobi announced to move its operations to Hong Kong in a partnership with Japan’s SBI Holdings to further expand into Japanese and South Korean markets.
Last week, there was a lot of uncertainty brewing out of South Korea regarding the possibility of a regulatory ban for operations of local cryptocurrency exchanges. The initial announcement of ban by the Ministry of Justice caused a lot of uproar in the market by the investor following which the government had to reconsider options and later reaffirmed its investors that a cryptocurrency trading ban would not be imposed.
Recently, chairman of the Fair Trade Commission of South Korea Kim Sang-Joo, stated: “[Shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges] is not realistically possible. Based on electronic commerce law, the government does not have the authority to close down cryptocurrency trading platforms.
From the viewpoint of an economist, it is not a fair and transparent decision to outright ban the economic activity. Whether it is excessive speculation or not, the gain or the loss is the responsibility of the investor.”
It remains to be seen as to how the crypto market dynamics take shape, especially in the Asian markets. With its recent attack on mining operations, China is trying to crush any sort of activity relating to cryptocurrencies which leave us with two major Asian markets – Japan and South Korea – to watch for.