Thailand welcomes Upbit after its Korean exit

Thailand’s SEC opens its doors to popular exchange Upbit, alongside 13 other crypto firms, after it was forced to cease operations in Korea

After struggling to stay afloat in the Korean market, UpBit has found safe harbour in Thailand as the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission granted UpBit full operating licenses.

The situation unfolded as regulatory changes in Korea were put through, requiring UpBit to partner with a domestic bank, K Bank, if the platform wanted to resume fiat trading with Korean users.

The requirement passively inhibits foreign users from trading fiat on UpBit, as Korean banking regulations do not allow foreigners to create an internet-only bank account, forcing UpBit to cut off their non-Korean users from its fiat fund.

After creating a new division in Thailand, the company now has four licenses to operate in Thailand.

The licenses allow UpBit to facilitate:

  • Cryptocurrency Exchange
  • Digital Token Exchange
  • Cryptocurrency Broker
  • Digital Token Broker

According to, earlier last month, the Thai SEC also granted licenses to 13 other crypto services providers, with Huobi being one of the approved companies.

As the most recent, UpBit is the first digital asset business to gain all four provisional licenses.

Peeradej Tanruangporn, CEO of UpBit Thailand, commented on the new Thai licences,

“In Thailand, there are separate licenses for exchange and brokerage businesses. An exchange license allows a business to do order matching. A brokerage license allows operators to take a customer’s order to another exchange for order matching.”

Though it is not ready to operate, UpBit will be able to be a fiat to crypto exchange as soon as the platform is operational.

Part of the plan

Meanwhile, according to a local news agency the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) is already being tested in its third trial phase. The digital currency is being tested for corporate transactions before being ready for retail use.

Vachira Arromdee, an assistant governor at the Bank of Thailand, shared:

“After that, we plan on moving into the fourth phase by expanding to retailers, but this phase will require a cautious study of both pros and cons…The central bank is also thinking about expanding use of the cryptocurrency to the general public, but a comprehensive study must be completed before taking such action.”

With the current trend for developing a CBDC, and Thailand opening its doors to various crypto service providers, it is easy to see that Thailand is putting digital currency and cryptos in a prominent position of economic importance.

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