Chinese Crypto Exchange BTCC Plans South Korean Launch in November

China’s first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is set to launch trading services in South Korea, Korean business outlet The Investor reported yesterday, October 16.

BTCC, which presently has headquarters in Hong Kong, will reportedly start beta services for trading in South Korea later this month and make its official debut in the market in November.

According to the BTCC website, the Korean service — headed by Lee Jae-beom — will span a trading platform, wallet service, mining pool, and a service to enable consumer payments:

“BTCC is establishing an on/offline payment system using cryptocurrency… [and is] is expanding services for real-life use.”

BTC China was founded in 2011 and was formerly one of the top three crypto exchanges in China, before intensified pressure from regulators and the country’s central bank amid signs of an imminent crypto exchange crackdown prompted it to announce its closure in September 2017 — the same month as China’s domestic regulatory ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) was announced.

This January, the company was acquired by a Hong Kong-based blockchain investment fund; a rebranded BTCC subsequently pursued the development of its international BTCC mining pool and Mobi wallet software, before relaunching its trading platform in July.

Crypto exchanges in South Korea have also drawn considerable scrutiny from domestic watchdogs, notably intensified in the wake of high-profile hacks and fraud allegations.

However, draft legislation has been in the works in the country this year to reclassify exchanges as “crypto asset exchange and brokerage,” thereby “recogniz[ing] [them] as regulated financial institutions,” as opposed to their previous classification as “communication vendors.”

Next month, a decision is expected to be announced following officials’ deliberation over possibly repealing South Korea’s own ban on ICOs, which has also been in force since September 2017.

As of press time, BTCC is seeing $168,342 in trades over the 24-hour period, according to data from CoinMarketCap.