Despite Regulations, One South Korean Crypto Exchange Rises to the Global Top
Amid regulatory uncertainty, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has grown rapidly, offering 121 cryptocurrencies and over 200 trading pairs. Backed by Kakao Corp, the platform is now the largest crypto exchange by volume globally.
Also read: South Korea Urges 23 Countries, EU, and IMF to Collaborate on Curbing Crypto Trading
Upbit Tops the Chart
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit provided its trading data to Coinmarketcap for the first time on Tuesday. The Kakao-backed exchange debuts as the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume.
Upbit’s 24-hour trading volume at the time of writing for all coins is $6.43 billion. Trailing behind in second place is Binance with $4.80 billion trading volume in the same time period, followed by Bithumb with $4.68 billion.
For bitcoin (BTC) specifically, Upbit has the third largest global 24-hour trading volume of $853,351. Bitfinex tops the BTC chart with $1.50 billion, followed by Okex at $946,537. Bithumb ranks 10th on this chart with only $365,177 of BTC trade in the last 24 hours.
In December, Upbit revealed that it had a total membership of 1.2 million, average daily users of 1 million, and concurrent users of 300,000. In addition, the platform claimed to have a maximum daily transaction value of 10 trillion won and an average daily transaction value of 5 trillion won in December.
Upbit’s Unique Path
Launched in October 2017, Upbit is operated by Dunamu Inc which received 30 billion won (~USD$28 million) in investment from Kakao Corporation in 2015. Dunamu also operates a mobile stock trading application called Kakao Stock. Thanks to a partnership with the US-based exchange Bittrex, Upbit offers the trading of 121 cryptocurrencies and over 210 trading pairs, according to its website.
The rapid growth of Upbit caught the attention of the South Korean regulators as well as the Korean Blockchain Association which works on self-regulation. Following the government’s regulatory announcement on December 14, all major crypto exchanges in the country jointly declared self-regulation as outlined by the association which they are members of.
However, Upbit became a center of controversy when it did not join the association and declare self-regulation with its peers. Instead, the exchange acted on its own and announced on December 30, as quoted by Zdnet:
The company plans not only to actively accept all regulations created by the government but also to create a safe and transparent cryptocurrency trading environment by strengthening self-regulatory measures intensely within the service.
Fulfilling its promises, Upbit implemented the necessary changes at the end of December, as required by the regulations.
Almost a month after other exchanges joined the Korean Blockchain Association, Upbit finally announced on January 11 that it had applied to join the association. The company has also agreed to implement any self-regulatory measures advised by the group, Yonhap reported.
What do you think of Kakao-backed exchange Upbit rising to become the largest crypto exchange globally? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Upbit.
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