September 27, 2021 12:47
Only four out of Korea's wildly sprouting cryptocurrency exchanges remain open after regulations were imposed by financial watchdogs to protect investors.
The only exchanges still operating are Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit, but 37 others closed down and the remaining 25 can no longer trade in Korean won-based cyber money and are allowed to trade only between digital cash, like buying Etherium with Bitcoin.
The cybercurrency market in Korea used to resemble the Wild West, but tough new rules have scattered most cowboy operators to the four winds.
But even the new rules have not curbed all excesses. The price difference between cybercurrencies traded here and abroad narrowed to zero in July, when financial authorities announced tougher regulations, but then started to rise again. As of 4 p.m. on Sunday, the price of a bitcoin traded on Upbit was a whopping 4.37 percent higher than on Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange.
An official at the Financial Services Commission said Sunday, "The risks for investors suffering damage are small because unregistered exchanges take up less than 0.1 percent of the market. But exchanges could resume illegal trading without registering, so we will continue to monitor the market and step up the crackdown."
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