The US crypto trading platform Bitfront will shut down its services in South Korea before stricter rules are enforced for the industry in September, Korean media reported. The exchange, a subsidiary of Japanese technology giant Line, is currently available to Korean traders.

Line’s Bitfront Exchange is discontinuing services for Korean cryptocurrency traders

With tighter regulations on the horizon, the digital asset exchange Bitfront is reportedly joining the platforms planning to pull out of the South Korean cryptocurrency market. The US-registered company, which was founded by Japanese messaging app company Line, will curtail its services in the country for the next month, Korean media announced.

According to Yonhap, the exchange will cease Korean-language service in mid-September. “Citing the stricter regulations, Bitfront also said it would suspend payments with Korean credit cards on September 14,” the news agency said in a report on foreign crypto exchanges seeking “distance” from South Korea before the upcoming changes.

Bitfront will cease its Korean-language marketing activities through social media channels such as “Facebook, Telegram and Line for its Korean customers this month,” added the Korea Economy Daily on Tuesday, citing industry sources. At the time of writing, Bitfront’s website is still available in Korean.

Foreign crypto exchanges are leaving South Korea due to regulatory changes

The more stringent rules, which were introduced with the revised Special Fund Act that came into force on March 25, will come into force in September after a six-month grace period. They require crypto trading platforms to register with the Korean Anti-Money Laundering Authority, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), by September 24, and work with domestic banks to issue real name accounts. Failure to comply can result in entry bans, penalties, and even criminal prosecution.

In July, the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) warned about two dozen stock exchanges targeting Korean nationals. Smaller and overseas exchanges are having a hard time partnering with a local banking institution as Korean banks fear exposure to money laundering, fraud, and other crypto-related risks. As of September 25, exchanges will be banned from withdrawing money for trading cryptocurrencies unless they have set up real-name bank accounts, Yonhap noted.

Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, announced last week that it was ceasing to offer a range of products and services in South Korea. This decision, announced on Friday, includes the suspension of trading pairs and payment options in Korean won, as well as peer-to-peer (P2P) merchant applications and Korean language support. On Wednesday, another overseas digital asset exchange, FTX Trading, removed Korean from the language options available on its website.

What are your expectations for the future of the crypto trading market in South Korea? Do share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

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