Exchanges

OKEx Korea closing down in two weeks

  • OKEX Korea has informed its customers that it will close shop on April 7.
  • The exchange did not provide any reasons for the closure, but it could be because of the new crypto law coming into effect on March 25.
  • Under the new law, crypto exchanges will not be able to share their order books with other trading platforms.

A cryptocurrency exchange providing its services in Korea is winding down its business operations as it prepares to close shop early next month.

OKEx Korea is shutting its services on April 7. The exchange announced today that customers must withdraw both their fiat and crypto holdings by this date.

OKEx customers warned

The exchange warned that customers must withdraw their holdings before the date as it will not be held accountable for any losses.

“After the end of the service, OKEx Korea will not be held liable for any losses arising from failure to withdrawal by customers,” the exchange said.

The exchange did not provide reasons for its decision to close down shop, but it could be because of the new law that will come into effect in two days.

Korea’s new crypto law

According to the new law, cryptocurrency exchanges based in South Korea will not be allowed to share their order books with other exchanges.

It is forbidden to allow customers to trade virtual assets with customers of other virtual asset operators through partnerships with other virtual asset operators,” according to the law.

This could be one of the reasons why Binance shut its services to Korean customers last December, citing poor liquidity and low transaction volumes.

Binance did not directly name the new law as the reason for its closure but said “it is difficult to provide smooth transaction liquidity.”

OKEx launched its Korean-focused exchange in August 2019 and recorded low trading volumes in the last 24 hours. According to Coingecko, about $1.3 million was traded on the exchange in the last 24 hours.

An OKEx official who spoke to The Block said that the exchange faced business difficulties in addition to regulatory challenges.

OKEx face several challenges

“We struggled to get ISMS [Information Security Management System certificate] and virtual account [bank account required to get licensed],” the official said before adding that:

“As a joint venture company with OKEx.com, it was hard to decide, but we had no other option.”

The exit of Binance and OKEx from the Korean markets cast the spotlight on Huobi Korea, the main rival of the two exchanges in the Asian country.

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