Undeterred by Regulatory Gaze, Crypto.com Boldly Enters South Korea

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

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Person Holding Cellphone With Crypto.com on Screen With Logo. Source: Timon - stock.adobe.com

Key Takeaways:

  • Crypto.com is launching its cryptocurrency trading app in South Korea on April 29, offering over 150 digital currencies and NFTs, focusing on retail investors following the acquisition of OK-Bit.
  • The company’s expansion aligns with its global outreach strategy, emphasizing compliance with South Korea’s stringent regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies, including recent FIU and FSC measures.
  • This move represents a strategic effort to penetrate a growing market, highlighting Crypto.com’s adaptability and proactive engagement with regulatory challenges.

In a significant move toward consolidating its market position, Crypto.com is set to unveil its cryptocurrency trading application to South Korean retail investors on April 29.

This launch is anticipated to provide access to a vast array of over 150 digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) through the Crypto.com app, targeting a crucial demographic in the company’s expansion plan.

Eric Anziani, Crypto.com’s president and CEO, emphasized the collaborative potential with South Korean regulators to foster industry growth in a statement made on April 2, reflecting a commitment to navigate the regulatory landscape proactively.

The introduction of this platform marks a transition from OK-Bit, a crypto exchange acquired by Crypto.com in the previous year, which will cease its operations coinciding with the new app’s debut.

The focus on retail investors is underscored by the regulatory framework in South Korea, which, since 2017, has prohibited institutional investors from engaging in cryptocurrency investments and related exchange-traded funds, not recognizing crypto as financial assets.

This initiative is a component of Crypto.com’s broader ambition for global outreach, with the exchange already having a significant presence in key markets across North America, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia.

Efforts to strengthen its foothold in South Korea have been evident since at least 2022, following the attainment of crucial regulatory approvals within the country.

The move comes at a time when South Korea is intensifying its oversight of the cryptocurrency sector.

Recent announcements from the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) have highlighted a stricter regulatory environment for crypto exchanges and their executives.

This includes measures that could lead to the expulsion of platforms failing to meet regulatory standards and an expansion in the screening processes for market participants to prevent the entry of unsuitable exchanges.

Further regulatory tightening is evident in proposals from the Financial Services Commission (FSC) aimed at requiring new crypto firm executives to seek regulatory consent prior to their appointments, a step that underscores the increasing scrutiny within the sector.

Crypto.com’s expansion into South Korea, therefore, reflects a strategic maneuver to capitalize on a growing market while navigating the complexities of an evolving regulatory framework.

This approach signifies the company’s resilience and adaptability in a landscape where regulatory compliance and market penetration are increasingly intertwined.

About The Author

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Victor Fawole, a seasoned Web3 content creator and social media influencer, excels in bringing the pulse of the crypto world to our readers.

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