newly imposed South Korea’s anti-money laundering (AML) and banking regulations are causing tensions that have reportedly left even the big four domestic crypto exchanges to fear for their futures. The new regulations, which force crypto exchanges to ensure all of their customers use the real name- and social security number-authenticated bank accounts at domestic commercial banks came into force at the end of April. They will become mandatory after a six-month grace period ends in September.

Currently, only the “big four” – Bithumb, Upbit, Korbit, and Coinone – have real-name banking contracts in place, with a small group of rival exchanges desperately scrambling to get their own contracts sorted before the September deadline. The remaining 100-200 smaller exchanges are expected to close, with vanishingly small hopes of securing banking deals in time.

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