Beijing-born Huobi opens cryptocurrency trading in South Korea

South Korea is currently the largest cryptocurrency market in the world, after Japan and the United States. It currently has around 12 different cryptocurrency exchanges catering to the market, and recently saw the inclusion of a new player, Huobi. The Singapore-based exchange announced last Friday that it was poised to offer its trading platform to South Korean cryptocurrency investors.

Beijing-born Huobi supports 100 different digital currencies, as well as trading on about 208 markets. These include 98 Bitcoin markets, 77 Ethereum markets and 33 Tether markets. It boasts of an “investor protection fund” that is designed to quickly reimburse investors for any losses, such as those seen from a hack of Japan’s Coincheck exchange in January.

The digital asset exchange ranks second globally in terms of trade volume. It has users in more than 130 countries and manages trading of over $1 billion in assets. It was founded in 2013 and has offices in the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong and, now, South Korea.

South Korean exchanges have historically saw trading at levels of around 30% higher than on other markets. While this separation has narrowed somewhat this year due to declines in trading on all exchanges, the country still enjoys a significant amount of cryptocurrency exchange action.

South Korea is one of the most liberal when it comes to cryptocurrency policies, and has even taken measures to protect the industry. It recently banned anonymous crypto trading and six major banks—more than in virtually any other country—support cryptocurrency exchanges. It is also considering a reversal on its decision to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Between December 2017 and February 2018, the atmosphere surrounding cryptocurrencies in South Korea had grown thick with doubts over its future. Apart from the ban on ICOs, there was also a rumor that the country could outlaw crypto completely. That rumor was eventually denied by government officials, who have since increasingly embraced the digital currency industry.

Huobi has had its hands full lately. In addition to launching new exchanges, it recently teamed up with Japanese financial entity SBI Group to help it launch its own cryptocurrency exchange.

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