Crypto.com denies setback in South Korean market entry

abdelaziz Fathi

Crypto.com has refuted reports from South Korean media that suggested a regulatory hurdle might delay its expansion in South Korea.

cybersecurity

Reports from local news source Bizwatch claim that the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of South Korea was holding up approval for a key leadership change at Crypto.com’s local branch, which could impact the debut of a new trading platform.

Crypto.com, which plans to launch its trading services in South Korea on April 29, acquired the locally licensed crypto exchange OK-BIT in 2022. The launch is intended to replace OK-BIT as it winds down operations. According to Bizwatch, the FIU has not yet approved the transition of executive leadership from Crypto.com co-founder Rafael Melo to President and COO Eric Anziani.

A spokesperson from Crypto.com clarified that the leadership changes were part of routine procedures and would not impact the scheduled launch of their app in South Korea. “We are working to update some of our directors of our local entity, as a procedural formality, and this has no impact on our ability to launch our app in South Korea on April 29th,” the spokesperson stated.

Foris DAX Korea Limited, the entity behind Crypto.com’s operations in South Korea, underwent internal leadership changes on January 25. Crypto companies are required by the FIU to report such changes within 30 days, suggesting that Crypto.com likely filed the necessary documentation in February.

Furthermore, the operating license acquired through the purchase of OK-BIT is set to expire in November, and thus will require renewal. Additionally, as OK-BIT was not qualified to launch a fiat-to-crypto platform, Crypto.com will need to meet more stringent compliance requirements to fully operationalize in the country.

Binance has also faced challenges in South Korea after acquiring a majority stake in the local exchange Gopax. The mega crypto platform faced delays in obtaining regulatory approval due to its legal issues in the U.S. and concerns over Gopax’s previous liquidity problems. In response, Binance has been adjusting its stake in Gopax and engaging with South Korean financial regulators to address compliance issues.

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