According to The Korea Times, the Beijing-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin is eyeing a partnership with NHN Entertainment, a Korean developer, publisher, and distributor of mobile and PC games, for the venture.
According to the statement, OKCoin plans to list more cryptocurrencies than Bithumb and UpBit, which have integrated 10 and 30 cryptocurrencies respectively. Both Bithumb and UpBit are operated by some of the country’s most influential conglomerates including Kakao’s Dunamoo. Korbit, the third largest cryptocurrency exchange market, is operated by NXC, a $10 billion gaming company.
To compete against local trading platforms like Bithumb, Korbit, UpBit, and CoinOne, OKCoin has partnered with a major conglomerate in NHN Entertainment, to obtain sufficient resources and capital to address the South Korean market. OKCoin will also integrate 60 cryptocurrencies upon its launch, more than all of the cryptocurrency exchanges in the local market combined.
Chris Lee, the president of OKCoin, told News 1 that the company currently houses 100 full-time developers and is aiming to evolve into a global cryptocurrency exchange. Lee emphasized that in order for OKCoin to expand internationally, South Korea is an important market for the company to address and penetrate.
Last month, Huobi, another major Chinese cryptocurrency exchange that migrated to the Hong Kong cryptocurrency market, announced its partnership with Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings to expand into the Japanese and South Korean markets.
Due to the recent crackdown on cryptocurrency trading by the Chinese government, trading platforms within the Chinese market have started to expand into other major regions in Asia, such as Japan and South Korea.
Optimistic for South Korea?
Apart from OKCoin and Huobi, 10 more cryptocurrency exchanges are expected to launch in the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market over the next few months.
Evidently, if the South Korean cryptocurrency market is unstable and a trading ban is imminent, cryptocurrency exchanges would not allocate millions of dollars in development and compliance to expand into the South Korean market.
Local exchanges including Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone, as well as exchanges overseas like Huobi and OKCoin are optimistic in regards to the regulatory roadmap of the South Korean government, given that the government has reaffirmed a cryptocurrency trading ban will not be imposed.
Recently, chairman of the Fair Trade Commission of South Korea Kim Sang-Joo, stated:
“Shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges] is not realistically possible. Based on electronic commerce law, the government does not have the authority to close down cryptocurrency trading platforms.
From the viewpoint of an economist, it is not a fair and transparent decision to outright ban economic activity. Whether it is excessive speculation or not, the gain or the loss is the responsibility of the investor.”
Given that the South Korean government has officially refuted the claims of the Justice Minister and rejected the cryptocurrency trading ban proposal, more cryptocurrency exchanges from overseas markets will expand into the local market, to address the exponentially increasing demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the global market.