Stock market death in South Korea: OKEx Korea closes down
The South Korean offshoot of the bitcoin exchange OKEx is ceasing operations. OKEx Korea announced this on its homepage on 23 March. Customers then have until 7 April to withdraw their (crypto) money. OKEx Korea did not give any details on the reasons in the terse announcement. However, it stands to Crypto Cash reason that the withdrawal is related to a new South Korean law that comes into effect on 25 March. As The News Asia reported, the law prohibits, among other things, South Korean bitcoin exchanges from sharing their order books with each other. This particularly affects small exchanges that rely on order book sharing to compensate for their low liquidity.
But apparently OKEx Korea also had problems obtaining ISMS certification from the South Korean Internet and Security Agency. The company told crypto portal The Block.
Small bitcoin exchanges facing extinction? Not all of them.
Unlike its parent company, OKEx Korea is one of the smaller trading venues. Daily trading volume has been comparatively marginal. According to Coingecko data, trading volume on OKEx Korea peaked at $68 million on 22 February. By comparison, coins with an equivalent value of over USD 9 billion changed hands on the parent exchange OKEx that day.
OKEx Korea is not the only offshoot of a Bitcoin exchange to close its doors in South Korea. Binance’s subsidiary Binance Korea also announced that it would cease operations at the end of December 2020. The reason given was a lack of trading volume and liquidity.
Meanwhile, Huboi Korea – also a small offshoot of a large exchange – has not yet made any moves to cease operations. This may be due to the fact that Huobi Korea only received its ISMS certificate in January.