Founded in 2013 by Kangmo Kim, Louis Jinhwa Kim, and Tony Lyu, and located in Seoul, Korbit is a large Korean cryptocurrency exchange that finds itself at #13 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 exchanges of 2017 list.

Korbit has 11 trading pairs that are all crypto against KRW. Combined with its $100M+ USD trading activity, this makes it an excellent exchange for anyone looking to trade KRW against cryptocurrencies. Korbit also offers a trading API for automated trading.

 

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Korbit

korbit cryptoURL: korbit.co.kr
Total trading pairs: 11
Deposit fees: No
Withdrawal fees: Yes, differing per currency
Trading fees:Yes, 0.0% – 0.2%
Verification: Yes, Five levels

Registration

Registration with Korbit requires you to enter your email address and a password, followed by a ‘Purpose for registering’ dropdown. And finally, there are three separate EULA-like text and checkboxes, where the first two are mandatory and the third is a copy of the second, with some slight changes. Once you have submitted the registration form, you will receive a confirmation email written entirely in Korean.

Fees

Korbit breaks its fees into the standard maker/taker scheme. Fees are determined based on your total traded in the last 30 days, calculated daily at 3 AM Korean Standard Time (UTC+9). The lowest fee tier is for traders with 100 Million KRW and below traded, with the fees being 0.08% for makers and 0.2% for takers. And the highest fee tier is for those who have traded 100 Billion KRW or more in the last 30 days, in this tier makers pay 0.0% and takers pay 0.01%.

For withdrawals, the fee is specified per currency and can be seen by hovering over an I symbol at the top right of the withdrawal page. There are no fees on deposits.

Interface

The interface is a stark white with blue highlights and black text. And interestingly, a more subtle blue has replaced the usual green used to mark a strengthening market.

The trading page lacks a chart of the currently selected cryptocurrency but has an order placement form front and center. Featured is a ‘use all currency’ button that is of questionable usability and safety. Proceeding down the page from the order form is an order book and trade history. Next is a list of your currently open orders. Balances are displayed at the top of the page, conveniently with their equivalent KRW worth slightly below them.

Verification

Korbit offers 6 verification levels, levels 0 through 5. Level ‘0’ is assigned to all new accounts. Each level grants progressively larger daily deposit and withdrawal limits and requires progressively more personal information. Trading currencies other than BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, and XRP requires you to have obtained level 3.

You can find the requirements and benefits to each level below.

  • Level 1 and 2: 1 requires a phone number, 2 requires SMS based verification of that number.
    • Deposit: 0 KRW and an unlimited amount of crypto.
    • Withdrawal: 0 KRW and 5 million KRW equivalent on the below cryptocurrencies.
    • Trade: BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, and XRP.
  • Level 3: Requires an address and a Korean bank account.
    • Deposit: Unlimited for KRW and cryptocurrencies.
    • Withdrawal: 300 million for KRW, 5 million KRW for some cryptocurrencies, 2 million KRW for the rest of the cryptocurrencies.
    • Trade: All currencies.
  • Level 4: An undisclosed approval process
    • Deposit: Same as level 3.
    • Withdrawal: 300 million KRW for Won and some cryptocurrencies, 15 million KRW for the rest of the cryptocurrencies.
    • Trade: All currencies.
  • Level 5: Another approval process, with the rule that your account must be at least three months old
    • Deposit: Same as level 4.
    • Withdrawal: 500 million KRW for Won and some cryptocurrencies, 20 million KRW for the rest of the cryptocurrencies/
    • Trade: All currencies.

Security

Aside from basic password authentication, Korbit does not provide any additional security features. While there is a security section to the account configuration page, it simply contains a setting to change where you land after logging in. You can select either your wallet page or the trading page.

Coinone is a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2015, it is #8 on BlockExplorer’s top 25 cryptocurrency exchanges of 2017 list. Coinone is one of the larger Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, and as such, it is recommended to mid to large-scale traders, specifically those looking to trade in Won. As all trades on Coinone occur in Won, and all Coinone trading pairs are cryptocurrency to Won.

Coinone

coinone cryptoURL:  coinone.co.kr
Total trading pairs: 9
Deposit fees: No
Withdrawal fees: Yes, per currency
Trading fees: 0.00% – 0.15%
Margin Trading: Yes
Verification: Yes, multiple levels

Registration

Registration is simple, requiring you to enter an email address, password, and solve a simple CAPTCHA-like puzzle. You receive an email to confirm your email address, though it is all in Korean. You can change the language emails are sent in the account configuration, though by default this is set to Korean.

Fees

Coinone breaks down its fees into a tiered maker/taker scheme that is based on the total you have traded in the last 30 days. And that total is updated daily at 3 AM. On the low-end fees are 0.1% for both makers and takers with 100,000,000 Won or lower in trades. On the High end, fees are 0% for makers and 0.02% for takers with 50,000,000,000 Won or more in trades. All margin trades carry a flat 0.15% fee for both makers and takers.

There are no deposit fees, and withdrawal fees differ by currency, there is a list of fees per currency available on Coinone’s site.

Interface

Coinone’s interface is a very clean and bright white with blue highlights. While the trading interface is well thought out there are some sections that are in Korean even when the selected language is English.

There is a chart of your currently selected trading pair at the top of the page. Below the chart on the left is the current order book for the selected trading pair and on the right is where you can submit buy or sell orders. On the right of the entire page is an overview of all currencies Coinone trades and their current price, below which is the status of your current orders. Further below on the right is your current fee rank, with how much more you need to trade to move up a fee level.

Verification

Coinone has four verification levels. And to withdraw currency you are required to have at least level one. Each verification level has higher withdrawal limits than the previous one

Verification Level Requirements Withdrawal Limit
Level 1 Email and location 1,000 KRW
Level 2 Phone number based authentication 500,000 KRW
Level 3 OTP Registration 1,000,000 KRW
Level 4 Review by operations team 100,000,000+ KRW

 

Security

OTP (One time password) also referred to as 2FA is available, though the method of configuration is unclear.

Cryptocurrency

South Korea’s finance minister has said that the government is not planning to ban cryptocurrency trading despite speculation that it was under consideration.

The value of bitcoin has fallen in recent weeks amid fears that authorities in South Korea were taking steps to crack down on the market.

Earlier this month, it was reported by South Korean news service SBS that the South Korean Justice Department was working on legislation that would shut down exchanges in the country. This was followed up by a separate report from Reuters that the Justice Ministry was preparing a bill. Consequently, market prices have remained in turmoil.

At the time of publishing, bitcoin’s value has dropped heavily, falling below $10,000.

Yet, according to Kim Dong-yeon, South Korea’s finance minister, talk of an outright ban is not on the agenda at present, reports Reuters.

“There is no intention to ban or suppress cryptocurrency [market],” he said.

This will be welcome news to investors who feared that authorities in the country were following in China’s footsteps to ban crypto trading in the country.

His reassurances come at a time amid heightened activity within the sector. As one of the biggest’s markets for trading bitcoin and other digital currencies, this may help to settle market prices, which have struggled to gain much traction throughout January.

Dong-yeon added that the government is more interested in regulating the market. It’s thought that this is to curb increased activity within the industry and to thwart its use and attraction among criminals. Several global authorities have also called for digital currencies to be regulated, including the governor of the Bank of Canada and the U.K.’s Prime Minister Theresa May.

The topic of regulating cryptocurrencies has increased in recent weeks, and, notably, after the hack at Japanese digital currency exchange Coincheck. On Friday, it was reported that it had become the victim of hackers, resulting in the theft of over $530 million worth of XEM, the token for the NEM network, making it the biggest crypto theft in history.

In a bid to quell market price speculation South Korean banks have banned anonymous accounts from trading cryptocurrencies, which came into effect yesterday. The new rules mean that investors who wish to continue trading in digital currencies will now need their real names on bank and exchange accounts. It’s hoped that this will stop digital coins from being used in money laundering. Those who don’t comply will face penalties.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

hong kong

Hong Kong authorities have said that while they won’t ban the trading of cryptocurrencies, they will educate people on the risks involved instead.

According to the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the public education campaign will highlight that the crypto market is not regulated, is subjected to hacking, and fluctuates in price, reports the South China Morning Post. The campaign is being run together with the Investor Education Centre, a subsidiary of the Securities and Futures Commission.

It’s expected to be rolled out from March via print, digital, and broadcast media in addition to the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations, a major public transport network serving Hong Kong.

Joseph Chan Ho-lim, the Treasury’s undersecretary, said that investors in Hong Kong may not know about the risks surrounding cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Julia Leung Fung-yee, executive director of the intermediaries division of the commission, explained by saying:

When we asked some young people why they bought cryptocurrencies, many of them cared less about the projects mentioned in the [ICOs’] White Paper … they just wanted to make quick money by speculating on the cryptocurrency exchange.

Interestingly, while the volatility of the digital currency market remains a concern to policymakers in Hong Kong, that doesn’t mean they’re about to tell investors what they should and shouldn’t invest in.

These comments come at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing heightened attention from traders and authorities concerned about rising prices. At the end of 2017 bitcoin saw its value soar by nearly 2,000 percent before losing half its price at the start of 2018. Speculation that the sector is in a bubble remains; however, this doesn’t appear to have dampened interest in it. Raising funds through ICOs has also increased, which saw crowdsourced fundraising bringing in between $4 billion and $7 billion.

However, unlike Chinese and South Korean authorities, which are cracking down on cryptocurrencies and trading platforms, Hong Kong’s government has indicated that it doesn’t plan to follow suit anytime soon.

One of the measures that authorities have implemented to protect consumers is that ICO issuers are required to follow existing laws and regulations if the coin they are offering falls within the remit of a security or investment.

Yet, according to Leo Weese, chairman of the Hong Kong Bitcoin Association, this is a topic that needs to be talked about.

“We should know the difference between what makes a good ICO [and what doesn’t] and how we differentiate between scams and legitimate projects.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.

square cash

South Korea’s financial watchdog has set a deadline banning anonymous digital currency trading accounts in the country.

According to a news report, six South Korean banks will start issuing new trading accounts for cryptocurrencies from the 30 January. This means that investors within the country who wish to continue trading will be required to have real-name bank accounts. The new system will also see digital currency exchanges sharing users’ transaction data with banks.

In addition to the banning of anonymous accounts, foreigners and underage investors will also be excluded from opening digital currency accounts in South Korea.

Six banks are involved, including Shinhan Bank, NH Bank, and the Industrial Bank of Korea.

According to Kim Yong-beom, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), existing anonymous accounts will be banned the same day that the banks introduce the new verification system.

Yong-beom added:

Nobody, including the government, guarantees the value of cryptocurrencies. Given its highly volatile nature, please be cautious when making investment decisions.

The digital currency market has been experiencing rapid growth in South Korea among investors; however, with the cryptocurrency exchanges unregulated in the country there is no way to protect investors if the market should the currency drop in value.

This latest measure is part of the South Korean government’s attempt to curb speculation in the market, amid growing fears that the currency is in a bubble waiting to burst.

Bithumb, one of the nation’s three largest cryptocurrency exchanges, welcomed the government’s new approach and said that it will work with its new policy:

We will make efforts to build a more transparent and healthy transaction system with the real-name trading platform.

This announcement comes on the tail of South Korea’s government announcing that it is planning to tax digital currency exchanges. Those who had an annual income of more than 20 billion won ($18.7 million) last year face the possibility of having to pay 22 percent corporate and 2.2 percent local income tax this year.

Bithumb is expected to pay 60 billion won in corporate and local income taxes after it generated roughly 317.6 billion won last year.

Regardless of these measures, an official told the Telegraph that the government is still considering an outright ban.

India, too, is taking measures to curb frenzy that has been seen in the crypto industry. Some of the country’s biggest banks including Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and ICICI have frozen all, but a few digital currency accounts.