[THE INVESTOR] China’s second- and third-largest cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi and OKCoin have delayed their planned launches in Korea amid the tightening of government regulations here, according to industry sources on Jan. 3.
The two Beijing-based firms had sought to enter Korea -- the third-largest market for cryptocurrency trading in the world in terms of transaction volume -- after they shut down services on their home turf in September, following a government order.
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Sources said OKCoin was preparing to enter the market by the end of 2017 but the plans were scrapped at the last minute due to growing uncertainties surrounding regulatory changes. Huobi is also reportedly reconsidering its entry into Korea for similar reasons.
Last week, the Korean government announced fresh measures to curb speculative trading of cryptocurrency. Real-name transactions will be required from later this month, while minors will be banned from creating new accounts at exchanges. The government has also hinted at a possible trading ban.
The current measures, however, seem to have little impact on trading fever. After days of adjustments in the immediate aftermath of the new policies, prices of Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies recovered losses over the past week in Korea. Bitcoin crossed the 20 million won (US$18,777) threshold again to trade at 20.52 million won as of 3:30 p.m.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org