Crypto.com expands regulatory footprint with new licence in South Korea

abdelaziz Fathi

Crypto.com has acquired payment service provider ‘PnLink Co., Ltd.’ and virtual asset service provider ‘OK-BIT Co., Ltd.’ The move effectively provides a regulatory stamp for the company’s digital assets and cryptocurrencies business in South Korea.

South Korea sets two main necessities for digital asset companies to fulfill. Upon completing real-name verification and partnering with a local bank, digital assets platforms are required to acquire a license from the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). This is a unit of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the country’s top financial regulator. On top of these stricter rules, crypto exchanges must obtain a security certificate from the Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Historically, South Korea is one of the hottest investing and trading markets for cryptocurrencies.

“This is an exciting next step for Crypto.com in an important market. We are committed to working with regulators to continue to bring our products and services to market, particularly in countries like South Korea where consumers have shown strong interest and adoption of digital currencies,” said Kris Marszalek, Co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com.

“We believe our services can not only help further evolve and empower commerce in Korea, but also support the greater creation and development of our Web3 ecosystem. Korea is a tremendously important market for Crypto.com in advancing blockchain technology,” added Patrick Yoon, General Manager of Crypto.com operation in South Korea.

The new regulatory stamp comes a few weeks after Crypto.com has gained approvals in Italy and Cyprus to act as a provider of virtual currency and digital wallet services. The registration allows the company to offer a suite of products and services in both countries, as well as open offices and expand its team.

The European licensing requires the firm to adhere to strict financial standards under the MiFID II framework, including the segregation and protection of client funds, full transparency of its business operations and capital adequacy controls.

The move also comes weeks after Crypto.com – continuing with its global expansion – received in-principle approval from Singapore regulators. Only 14 other MPI-licensed firms are approved by the city-state’s de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to offer crypto services.

Crypto.com also received in June provisional approval from Dubai’s local regulator to set up its business operations in the UAE whilst it undertakes the process of applying for a full-scale license.

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