South Korea: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone crypto exchanges attract millions of users
As several crypto-related companies in South Korea were going through a rough patch due to controversial regulatory efforts in the country, Upbit was able to retain its title as the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
According to People Power Party representative (representative) Yoon Do-hyun, South Korea’s largest stock exchange reported a high number of transactions and subscribers, as well as the amount of money parked. Data provided by Do-hyun showed Upbit had nearly 5.3 trillion won [$4.5 million] deposited in his accounts, which was more than competing exchanges – Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit combined.
Nonetheless, Bithumb took second place with deposits worth 1.3 trillion won. [$1.1 Trillion]. Meanwhile, Coinone and Korbit took third and fourth place with 248 billion won and 69 billion won respectively. This could be due to the popularity of Upbit amid ongoing regulatory changes.
The same was reflected in its total user count reaching 4.7 million which was even more than Bitthumb or any other exchange. To put it in perspective, the number of users on Upbit was 47 times that of Korbit. However, all four exchanges had welcomed millions of users in 2021 alone.
Data suggests that between April and July, nearly 1.8 million new users opened accounts with Upbit, while Bithumb attracted 450,000 new users. Coinone and Korbit also saw 170,000 and 45,000 users respectively join their platforms during the same period.
The popularity and scale of Upbit forced it to distance itself from its competitors by developing solutions for the “rule of travel”. The rule requires asset service providers to provide real-name verifications of the identity of senders for international transfers. Upbit has indicated that it will work to comply with the “travel rule”, through its internal blockchain technology research arm, Lambda256. This rule will come into effect on March 25, 2022.
South Korean users were turning to big exchanges amid changing regulations, and it seems Upbit would have the benefit of being the first exchange to file with regulators. However, the small purses were crushed under the weight of a plethora of mandates to be fulfilled. A recent report authorities noted that out of 63 applicants, only 21 scholarships received ISMS certification for meeting different standards required for the same.