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Upbit Halts High-Value Crypto Transactions Over Regulatory Changes

ByDayne Lee

Apr 20, 2024
Upbit Halts High-Value Crypto Transactions Over Regulatory Changes

Upbit Halts High-Value Crypto Transactions Over Regulatory Changes

Upbit, one of South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced a temporary suspension of deposits and withdrawals for digital assets exceeding 1 million Korean won (approximately $721). This decision is a direct response to operational adjustments at Ten&Ten, a key provider in the virtual asset service provider (VASP) ecosystem that facilitated high-value transactions.

Background of the Suspension

The suspension was triggered by Ten&Ten’s recent discontinuation of its Travel Rule Solution service, which was essential for supporting transactions above the 1 million won threshold. Upbit’s announcement on April 17 highlighted that Ten&Ten ceased supporting transactions on April 15, with the final deadline for withdrawals set for April 22 at 10:00 AM Korea Standard Time.

  • Service Discontinuation: Ten&Ten stopped its transaction support on April 15.
  • Withdrawal Deadline: Users must withdraw their assets by April 22.

This suspension affects a significant portion of Upbit’s operations, given that Ten&Ten played a crucial role in managing larger transactions. Other VASPs that facilitate similar high-value transactions include notable entities like Bblock, Gopax, and Bithumb, among others. The disruption could potentially impact user confidence and transaction fluidity in the short term.

  • User Transactions: Direct impact on users intending to perform large-scale transactions.
  • Market Dynamics: Possible short-term effects on liquidity and trading activity on Upbit.

Trading Volume and Market Position

Despite this setback, Upbit remains a formidable player in the global cryptocurrency market. According to a recent report by the European Union, Upbit is second only to Binance in terms of market share, with a trading volume of approximately 528.57 billion. The first quarter of 2024 saw the South Korean won overtaking the U.S. dollar in crypto trading volume on centralized exchanges, highlighting the significant role of South Korean markets in the global crypto landscape.

  • First Quarter Trading Volume: Over $456 billion in transactions in Korean won.
  • Comparison with U.S. Dollar: Slightly exceeded the U.S. dollar’s volume of about $455 billion.

The South Korean financial authorities are in the process of tightening regulations around token listings on centralized exchanges. New guidelines expected by the end of April or early May will impose stricter criteria for listing digital assets, especially those previously affected by hacking incidents. These regulatory changes aim to enhance the security and reliability of the crypto trading environment in South Korea.

  • Stricter Listing Criteria: Enhanced scrutiny of tokens with past security issues.
  • Security Measures: Requirement for thorough investigation of hacking incidents before listing.

Global Context and Comparative Market Developments

In a related development, Hong Kong’s financial regulator has approved three spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), expected to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange within two weeks. This move could influence regional market dynamics and potentially affect trading patterns in neighboring markets, including South Korea.

  • Hong Kong ETFs: Approval and upcoming listing of Bitcoin ETFs.
  • Potential Market Impact: Influence on regional trading activities and investor interest.

Upbit’s decision to suspend high-value transactions is a significant development in the context of evolving regulatory frameworks and service provider adjustments within the cryptocurrency industry. As the market adapts to these changes, Upbit and its users will need to navigate the challenges of compliance, security, and market volatility. The ongoing regulatory updates and the introduction of new financial products in the region suggest a dynamic period ahead for cryptocurrency markets in Asia.

Featured image credit: CoinPedia News via CoinMarketCap

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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