Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts will agree that South Korea has become a critical area for this industry. With local exchanges generating high amounts of trading volume every day, South Korea has already overtaken China and Japan in this regard. Bringing more competition to the exchange market is never a bad idea, though. Kakao and Bittrex have announced a joint exchange venture going by the name of Upbit. It’s an interesting concept that should shake things up quite a bit.

Upbit Brings Stiff Competition to Korean Exchanges

Most people already are familiar with one or two South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges these days. Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit are the ones people talk about most often. However, there are a lot more exchanges in the country than some people would assume. This list only grows longer with the new joint venture between Bittrex and Kakao. Their new Upbit exchange will be a game-changer for the Korean market as a whole, by the looks of things.

The fact that this cryptocurrency exchange venture has a Korean internet giant on board is pretty significant in its own right. Although very few people expected it at first, Kakao has been making inroads into the world of cryptocurrency of late. The Upbit exchange platform is the latest development in a much larger plan of action. The goal is to allow Upbit users to trade over 100 digital currencies using the Kakao Stock mobile application. Said application recently received an update to include Bitcoin price information as well.

Opting to partner with Bittrex for this particular venture is a rather surprising decision. That’s not because Bittrex is a bad exchange, as it has become the largest altcoin exchange in the world over the past few months. However, there is no reason to think Kakao wouldn’t have been able to pull off such a venture on its own. Then again, having a reliable and experienced partner on board will only accelerate the development of Upbit and increase its overall potential.

It has to be said that the year 2017 has already been pretty spectacular for Kakao. The company launched an internet-only bank not too long ago, which has been well received. There’s also Kakao Pay, the second most popular mobile payment solution in all of South Korea right now. Adding a cryptocurrency exchange venture to this list makes a lot of sense, in an odd way. Looking at the bigger picture, it was only a matter of time before such a venture materialized.

The bigger question is whether Upbit and other Korean exchanges will receive opposition from the Korean government. Although Bitcoin is not scrutinized in the country right now, it remains to be seen if that will change. The Korea Fair Trade Commission is particularly concerned about the cryptocurrency industry in its current form. Most of these concerns relate to ICOs and not actual cryptocurrencies themselves, though. For now, there is nothing to worry about just yet, although exchanges may receive a visit from regulators in the not-so-distant future.

For all intents and purposes, Upbit is exactly what the South Korean cryptocurrency industry needs right now. More competition is never a bad thing by any means. Having an internet giant getting involved in this nascent business brings more legitimacy to all currencies traded on the platform moving forward. Support for around 100 digital currencies is an ambitious goal, but it is certainly possible to attain that number. Exciting times lie ahead in South Korea; that much is certain.