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Top South Korean Crypto Exchanges Purging Altcoins in Late-night Culls

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Multiple South Korean crypto exchanges have gone on token purges, culling a wide range of altcoins from their platforms – and following in the wake of the market-leading exchange Upbit, which has earmarked 30 coins for the ax.

Source: iStock/PeopleImages

As previously reported, Upbit’s unexpected move saw five coins removed and 25 others given a one-month period in which to prove their worth or face removal. The move saw the top financial regulator respond by ordering all major exchanges to inform it about their delisting policies.

But the cull appears to have already gathered pace. Per KBS and Etoday, 11 out of the 20 exchanges that have obtained the required information security management system (ISMS) certification required in order to register with the regulator have begun “trimming” their token offerings.

Upbit’s delisting news broke on Friday last week, but this week Coinbit has followed up by “abruptly” removing eight tokens, with another 28 shortlisted for removal in an announcement made “in the middle of the night,” according to EToday. Rival APRObit is set to remove 11 tokens from its platform, with Flybit also removing trading pairs. Huobi Korea and GDAC have followed up by delisting exchange-issued tokens.

The delisting spree is causing mayhem for investors, with many complaining on web forums that there is “no legal basis for delisting” and that many of the moves appear to be “arbitrary.” Instead, exchanges have claimed that tokens are not meeting “internally assed criteria” or are removing to boost “customer protection.”

Others have complained that exchanges appear to be purposefully making their delisting announcements late at night, KST, with delisted tokens losing up to 80% of their value in the space of hours in some cases.

Donga quoted an unnamed exchange staffer as suggesting that regulatory pressure may be behind the moves. The employee stated,

“Removing unverified altcoins is an issue that will directly affect the survival or otherwise of crypto exchanges. We are following delisting decisions based on examples from foreign exchanges.”

But it appears not all token issuers are happy to go quietly into the night. One token issuer has already appealed their coin’s delisting. MBC reported that AnimalGo, the issuer of the Go Money 2 token (GOM2) had lodged an appeal with a branch of the Seoul District Court over its removal.

AnimalGo had claimed its project had been backed by a multi-billion dollar investment from the Celsius Network.

However, the court upheld the ruling after hearing evidence from Upbit, which claimed Celcius had told it there had been no such investment.
Learn more:
Regulator Extends South Korean Crypto Exchanges’ AML Window by 6 Months
Korean Exchanges Running out of Options as More Banks Say No to Crypto
S Korean Regulator Holds ‘Significant’ Meeting with 20 Crypto Exchanges