South Korean companies have reportedly set their sights on the crypto industry and plan to launch digital asset exchanges in 2023’s first half. These companies include Mirae Asset Securities and Samsung Securities. In the past few years, domestic financial regulators have been very strict with crypto-related entities. Prompted by the mandatory requirements enforced by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), over 60 trading venues halted operations in South Korea last year.


A local media report revealed that seven major South Korean securities companies plan to launch cryptocurrency exchanges in the first six months of 2023. Recently, these entities have been collaborating with domestic monetary regulators to receive operational licenses for these activities by the end of this year.


Two of these companies are Samsung Securities and Mirae Asset Securities. Mirae Securities plans to establish a subsidiary under Mirae Asset Consulting (an affiliated organization) to introduce its crypto platform. Once launched, the exchange will provide Bitcoin and Ether trading services as well as non-fungible token (NFT) dealings. Samsung Securities intends to enter into the blockchain-based security token ecosystem. In 2021, the company tried to launch a token trading platform but could not put together the necessary team of professionals required to perform the task.


Last year, South Korea’s financial regulator – the FIU – instructed all local digital asset firms to comply with its anti-money laundering (AML) rules and register with the regulator. More than 60 firms could not meet those requirements and had to shut down operations in September 2021.


Four major exchanges (Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit) successfully completed the necessary registration and continued providing services to Korean users. Other companies like ProBit, Cashierest, and Flybit obtained security certificates. This allowed them to continue operating in South Korea but without making won settlements.


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