Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit Plans for International Expansion

The exchange already has a presence in some Southeast Asian nations.

Upbit, one of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, is planning to expand its operations in the international markets, especially in Southeast Asian countries.

While speaking at CoinDesk‘s Consensus, CEO of Upbit operator Dunamu, Sirgoo Lee revealed the digital currency’s future expansion plans.

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“We’re looking to expand overseas,” Lee said. “We did open shop in Southeast Asia, and we are expanding our exchanges in that location.”

Indeed, Upbit launched services in Thailand earlier this year after obtaining four cryptocurrency-related operational licenses from the country’s regulators. It perfectly timed the market as the leading Thai crypto exchange with around 97 percent of the local market was facing regulatory backlash amid technical troubles.

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Upbit first entered the region in 2018 with offerings in Singapore and later expanded to Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, in early 2019. Though the CEO revealed the expansion plans, the specifics are clear.

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The exchange might have plans to enter the non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance space as Lee said the company is exploring ‘various possibilities’ without going into the details.

Upbit is one of the big four South Korean crypto exchanges, but it has its fair share of controversies. The exchange was hacked in November 2019, resulting in the theft of Ether, which was worth around $50 million at the time. However, Upbit revamped its security features after the breach.

Furthermore, the exchange was raided by Korean authorities over allegations of selling digital currencies that it does not even hold. However, those charges did not stand against the exchange.

Earlier this year, Hanwha Group’s brokerage arm, Hanwha Investment and Securities purchased a minority stake in Upbit for an investment of around $52.24 million.

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