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South Korea’s digital asset trading platform will block withdrawals to unverified wallets starting Thursday

in a advertisement shared yesterday, the Bithumb exchange detailed that it is taking further steps to manage cryptocurrency withdrawal services for private and third-party wallets. The exchange said that as of January 27, owners of unverified private wallets will no longer be able to successfully authorize cryptocurrency withdrawals to their wallets. Affected wallets include MetaMask and MyEtherWallet.

Bithumb follows Coinone, more willing to settle

Bithumb is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the region and one of only four approved to offer cryptocurrency trading services. Affected users must validate their wallets with their Bithumb accounts, so they are on the “allow list” before the specified date.

The verification procedure includes additional verification steps to know your customer. It is worth noting that withdrawals are still allowed to local and international centralized exchanges that comply with KYC guidelines. This means that users can transfer their crypto assets to exchanges like Binance.US, Bitstamp, Blockchain.com, Bybit, and Kraken.

Bithumb becomes the second exchange to follow this path after Coinone announced was adopting the policy late last year. The exchange gave its users a more than three-week window (ending on Sunday) to verify their private and third-party crypto wallets.

Exchanges in Korea have until March 25 to implement measures allowing them to track crypto transactions on their platform based on a order of the local government. The measures are part of efforts to combat cryptocurrency-related fraud, including illegal funding.

However, some exchanges have not yet adopted the same. Two of them are Korbit and Upbit. The two have not taken on the policy, but are said to be exploring its implementation.

A local bank pressed the decision.

South Korean exchanges that offer trading pairs in Korean fiat currency, the Korean won, are it is required to have a local bank as a partner. These banks often influence some of the rules of the exchange, as is the case with Bithumb. This rule helps maintain security and makes it easier for exchanges to observe the FATF Travel Rule.

Local news outlet Money Today detailed that Bithumb’s decision was partially influenced by its partner bank, Nonghyup Bank. The national bank pressured the exchange to ban wallets without its KYC system to ensure compliance with the travel rule.

Bithumb is looking to launch an NFT marketplace

Elsewhere, Bithumb is reported to be developing a trading platform for non-fungible tokens. The marketplace is expected to launch sometime this year and will be a joint venture with another company acting as a technical partner.

The identity of the firm is unknown, but rumors suggest that it could be LG CNS. The exchange’s chief executive revealed in a recent interview that Bithumb was working on an NFT platform to remain competitive.

Rival exchanges Upbit (representing the largest transaction volume in the country) and Korbit already unveiled their NFT markets in November and July last year, respectively.


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