Bittrex-backed Upbit joins Korea Blockchain Association
[THE INVESTOR] Upbit, one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, said on Jan. 11 it has submitted its application to join the Korea Blockchain Association, a group of 26 major cryptocurrency exchanges, including the top three -- Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit.
Until recently, Upbit was reluctant to join the business lobby possibly due to its partnership with US-based Bittrex, the world’s third-largest Bitcoin exchange. It uses its own system for transactions using Korean won, while depending on the US partner’s platforms for other currencies.
“Upbit will embrace government measures and the association’s voluntary regulations as well as strengthen its own regulations in order to help create a healthy and transparent trading market,” the firm said in a statement.
Upbit’s move to join the association comes after the government hinted at a new bill that seeks to ban transactions at exchanges earlier on the day as it raided Bithumb and Coinone for tax investigations.
The four-month-old Upbit recorded 5 trillion won (US$4.60 billion) in average daily transactions in December, the highest among local exchanges.
Amid growing uncertainties surrounding the virtual money market here, expectations are high about Upbit’s growth among investors after Kakao founder Lee Seok-woo recently joined it as CEO hinting at a possible partnership with Kakao in future business expansion.
Kakao and its venture capital firm K Cube Ventures own 8.84 percent and 20 percent in Dunamu, the Upbit operator, respectively. Kakao shares have recently been bullish partly on Upbit’s strong performance.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)