Three of South Korea’s five biggest banks, Woori, Kookmin (KB), and KEB Hana, have said they do not want to work with crypto exchanges, claiming the sector is “too risky” – a decision that may well jeopardize the future of even the country’s major exchanges. (Updated at UTC 18:43 to add comment from Flybit)
Our approached a number of South Korean exchanges for comment, but some trading platforms in the country appeared reluctant to speak on the matter.
Flybit, one of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea outside the “big four,” told Our,
“We’re still in talks with certain banks – this isn’t industry-wide. Or at least not yet.”
As reported last week, banks have been effectively given the role of judge, jury, and executioner over the South Korean exchange sector – with the government telling them to conduct their own risk assessment checks on exchanges. This has led banking chiefs to create their own almost-90-item-strong checklist.
Exchanges without banking contracts will be forced to close or face prosecution under rules that promulgated last month, with a grace period ending on September 24.
But per the news agency Yonhap, Woori, Hana, and KB (none of which currently work with crypto exchange partners) have decided that working with exchanges will be far more trouble than it is worth – particularly, perhaps, as the regulatory scene appears so changeable in South Korea.
The media outlet quoted a senior KB official as stating: