According to a study by the South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and the South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit, seven out of ten crypto exchanges that closed in the country were unable to return money to customers.

The report found that six of the seven cryptocurrency exchanges that did not return money to customers did not notify them in advance of their plans to cease or suspend operations. Even if problematic sites are ready to return digital assets to users, only one or two employees are entrusted with managing this process, which causes extreme inconvenience and significantly delays payments.

Researchers have found that South Korea ranks third in the world in terms of cryptocurrency market. In the first half of 2023, more than 6 million Koreans (more than 10% of the country’s population) were trading cryptocurrencies on registered exchanges. In addition to major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Korean traders often invest in little-known and risky crypto assets. This trend increases the risk of financial losses for investors, the department fears.

Therefore, the FSS stated the need to create a strong legal framework to protect investors and called for stricter oversight of the crypto industry. To develop financial guidance, FSS works closely with other regulators, with a particular focus on preventing illegal activity in the emerging digital asset market.

In April, South Korean authorities began discussing the possibility of creating a department to investigate cryptocurrency crimes. In the same month, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) promised to tighten requirements for listing altcoins on local trading platforms.