Korean fintech companies are rushing to get into the virtual currency market as the government prepares to regulate the cryptocurrency trade by requiring licensing to contain side effects from hyped demand for cyber money.
According to the industry on Thursday, there are about 30 marketplaces for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Korea. Twenty more are in the way.
Shinhan Bank said it alone received requests from 14 companies to open accounts for virtual currency exchange.
Three Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit currently dominate the domestic cryptocurrency market. More startups are jumping on the bandwagon as transaction value already exceeds Korea’s secondary Kosdaq market.
Blockchain technology venture Coinplug Inc. opened its digital currency exchange CPDAX on Friday. Dunamu, the developer of the mobile securities service app Kakao Stock, is also reviewing to enter the market with simpler access through mobile phones.
Korea’s three leading players also moved fast to ensure their dominance. Bithumb bolstered call center staff to 200 and opened a brick-and-mortar service center near Gangnam station in Seoul.
But the heated competition raises concerns about service problems and fraudulent practices as there are no regulations on the sector.
By Roh Seung-hwan
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]