South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is planning to expand into Japan and Thailand, according to local news source ZDNet.
The company has already applied for licences at the Financial Services Agency of Japan and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand.
Bithumb is South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange and one of the biggest in the world – it has processed $596 million worth of trading in the last 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com.
It made 171 times more money in 2017 than it did in 2016 and was cleared of any wrongdoing following a tax audit. It has been expanding in conjunction with this success. For example, it opened an office in London in May.
There have also been problems.
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In May it discontinued a certain cryptocurrency after people noticed that it belonged to members of Bithumb staff and appeared on the exchange without going through the usual process. And then in early June, approximately $31 million of customer money was stolen from the exchange by hackers. Bithumb pledged to repay them from its own pocket.
Japan and Thailand
Japan and Thailand are two jurisdictions that are more cryptocurrency-friendly than most. Japan was an early and enthusiastic adopter of Bitcoin, even though a number of major hacks forced it to crack down. Recently, the country’s financial watchdog is has been considering writing some new customer protection laws.
Thailand became officially regulated in Thailand in May of this year, following a calm, measured process that some other countries would do well to emulate.
Regarding Thailand, the company said: “Thailand is active in e-commerce and the fintech industry, and the government is showing great interest in digital currency as it promotes smart city business.”
Regarding Japan: “Japan accounts for 50% of the global financial market and Bithumb considers that Japan plays a central role in the world’s money market.”