May 24, 2024

Global cryptocurrency exchange said Tuesday that it will postpone its launch in South Korea to communicate further with local regulators. It did not disclose a new launch date.

“We will postpone our launch and take this opportunity to make sure Korean regulators understand our thorough policies, procedures, systems and controls,” a spokesperson told The Block. “Korea is a difficult market for international exchanges to enter, but we are committed to working with regulators to advance the industry responsibly for Koreans.”

The announcement follows a local report from Segye Ilbo that South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit visited’s local office on Tuesday after the regulator found concerning matters in the company’s submitted documents related to anti-money laundering. announced on April 2 that it is launching a local trading platform in South Korea, which hosts one of the largest crypto markets in the world. The launch, originally scheduled for April 29, planned to fill in the spot of locally licensed crypto exchange OkBit, which is winding down its services at the end of the month. 

“ has not onboarded any new customers in Korea since acquiring OkBit,” the spokesperson said, adding that customer access has since been limited to withdrawals. “OkBit maintained approximately 900 customers at the point of acquisition by, and OkBit has never been cited for any AML infractions.”

The exchange did not immediately respond to The Block’s request for further details on the new launch date or confirmation of local reports about the FIU’s visit. The FIU did not respond to The Block’s calls.

South Korea, a country where about one-tenth of the population invests in crypto, has strict rules on cryptocurrency exchanges. It has essentially banned overseas exchanges from soliciting services to local investors, which has led Binance and to seek local entry by acquiring domestic exchanges.

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