Upbit Files Registration with the South Korea Financial Intelligence Unit

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by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
Upbit Files Registration with the South Korea Financial Intelligence Unit
Photo: Depositphotos

South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit has filed its registration with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) as the frantic race to meet the September 24 deadline set by the regulator heightens.

As reported by Coindesk, digital currency exchanges that fails to comply with the regulatory requirements as defined by the FIU by the deadline risks their website being taken down by the regulator.

The Upbit registration comes after the exchange secured a partnership with online-first K-Bank, which will help in its customer registrations with real-name verifications. The FIU has made this a primary requirement for all trading platforms offering digital currency services to Korean citizens and residents.

Many of the exchanges operating in South Korea, including their foreign competitors appear to be having trouble meeting with the FIU’s requirements. However, top trading platforms including Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone has also reportedly inked similar partnerships and are poised to be the next in line to register with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

The frenzy in South Korea is heightening as the crypto savvy population do not want to be caught in the crosshairs of a banned cryptocurrency exchange. Amongst other underlying reasons for the FIU’s stance include the need for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks, as well as in fulfilling the government’s tax demands.

Upbit Registration: A Bar too High for Foreign Exchanges?

The digital currency ecosystem is a very volatile ecosystem that banks and financial institutions are still finding it hard to understand. Besides the direct threat to banking operations that cryptocurrencies pose, banks do not want to get caught in the crosshairs of illicit transactions that digital assets may be used for.

Choosing to do business with a cryptocurrency service provider in South Korea has proven to be a big deal, going by the reluctance of banks, and the threats to some exchanges operating in the country. Unable to meet with the demands from the regulators, OKEx cryptocurrency exchange has chosen to shut down its operations in the Asian country.

In addition, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Binance has also delisted all trading pairs involving the South Korean Won earlier in the month.

“Our aim is to create a sustainable ecosystem around blockchain technology and digital assets. Binance welcomes developments to our industry’s regulatory framework as they pose opportunities for the market players to have greater collaboration with the regulators. We are committed to working constructively in policy-making that seeks to benefit every user,” the exchange said in a statement at the time.

The inability of foreign exchanges to meet the FIU’s guidelines to continue doing business in the country has revealed that the Upbit registration may be a bar too high for non-native exchanges to be able to hit

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