South Korean cryptocurrency wallet Bitberry is shutting down less than two years since it launched. The wallet has been a favorite for many in South Korea and beyond, making the shutdown all the more surprising. Users will have till the end of the month to withdraw their crypto holdings.
Despite its popularity, Bitberry has witnessed dwindling profits from its business in recent times, a report by Korean outlet NewsTomato revealed. The wallet blames the slowdown in the crypto industry and market uncertainty for its ill fortunes. Jang Sung-hoon, the CEO of Root One Soft, stated, “We decided to close the business due to the market deterioration and uncertainty of the blockchain industry.”
The outlet claimed that the wallet faced financial difficulties over the prolonged crypto winter in 2018 and has since then been unable to recover. It will officially shut down on February 29. Users can withdraw their holdings before then, with the wallet waiving all withdrawal charges to enable swift movement of funds.
Root One Soft is Bitberry’s operator and a subsidiary of Dunamu, the company that’s also behind Upbit crypto exchange. Established in 2017, Upbit quickly rose to challenge veteran exchange Bithumb for the title of the largest South Korean crypto exchange. Despite challenges such as last year’s $50 million hack, Upbit has continued to thrive and is still going strong, which makes Bitberry’s shutdown even more surprising.
Bitberry was also reportedly in the process of agreeing a partnership with Lambda 256, a research subsidiary of Dunamu. These talks will cease following the shutdown.
Bitberry was launched in 2018, aiming at making crypto ownership and trading simple. Since then, it has become a favorite for crypto owners in South Korea. One of its outstanding features is that it linked with KakaoTalk, the most popular messaging service in South Korea, allowing its users to sign in using their KakaoTalk ID. Bitberry also allowed the users to send and receive crypto using their mobile numbers instead of the long and complicated addresses.
Bitberry’s sudden shutdown will inconvenience many users. However, for messaging giant Kakao, the move will be welcome as it gives it a boost in its quest to launch its own crypto wallet. As CoinGeek reported last year, Kakao will launch its Klip crypto wallet in the first half of this year. Just like Bitberry, Klip will focus on making it extremely easy to receive, send and store cryptos. It will allow users to gain access to their cryptos through a simple passcode while still keeping control of their private keys.
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