Bybit crypto exchange suspends services in South Korea


Bybit, one of the world’s top cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges, will halt some of its services to South Korean users ahead of a licensing deadline.

The exchange officially announced on Friday that it will discontinue Korean language support from its platforms as well as its official South Korean community on social media. The suspensions will take effect starting on Monday.

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“Korean traders may still use Bybit products and services. These products and services just won’t be offered in the Korean language any more,” a spokesperson for Bybit told Cointelegraph.

Bybit will remove the functions ahead of a Sept. 24 deadline for cryptocurrency businesses to submit requests for an official operating license. “We had conversations with Korean regulators on that. We were told that licenses would only be given to local entities, and our setup precluded that,” Bybit representative no

The new Anti-Money Laundering requirements are mandatory for local exchanges and foreign exchanges operating in the country that offer Korean language support or won-denominated trading pairs. 

This has led some major foreign exchanges to stop offering services in the country rather than fall in line with the stringent new requirements of providing real-name accounts through a local bank. Last month, Binance halted won trading pairs and removed Korean language support from its site.

Today, Bybit said that it “accepts its responsibility as an exchange and an industry leader in actively cooperating with regulations implemented by various jurisdictions to promote financial inclusion and develop the overall crypto industry.” According to a spokesperson from Bybit, the majority of the exchange’s trading is coming from Europe, with European accounts making up more than 50% of trading volumes.

Related: South Korean lawmaker: Delaying tax laws on crypto is ‘inevitable’

According to the South Korean Financial Services Commission, crypto platforms that failed to request a license should notify their customers of an expected closing date and procedures to withdraw money “by at least seven days before the closure,” reportedly no later than Friday, Sept. 17. According to Reuters, more than 60 crypto exchanges in South Korea must notify customers of a partial or full suspension of trading by Friday at midnight.