Bithumb to Reopen Account Registrations After Renewing Contract With Nonghyup Bank

Avi Rosten

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb will reportedly be reopening new account registrations following a contract renewal with Nonghyup Bank.

First reported at 1:39 UTC this morning in the local Naver news, the reports explain that the Bithumb and the Seoul-based bank intend to relaunch the “real name virtual account issuance verification service as early as [August] 30th.”

The reopening of new account registration is the first time the exchange has allowed new virtual accounts since suspending the service on July 31st after it experienced a major hack in June which resulted in the loss of over $30m of user’s funds.

Under current legislation, banks in South Korea are allowed to provide accounts for crypto exchanges - but for KYC-AML purposes must monitor all the exchange’s accounts - ensuring that all virtual accounts for each user are paired with their verified identities.

Volume Spikes, But Several Days Ahead of Announcement

Although volume on the exchange did spike immediately following the announcement, it is by no means the first surge in the last few days - as data from CryptoCompare show:

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Interestingly, looking at CryptoCompare data for BTC-KRW (bitcoin - Korean Wong) market share - a clear decline can be seen in the weeks following the attack. With the exchange’s market share bouncing back substantially in the last few days, many will see this increased activity ahead of the announcement this morning as a possible pre-emption from investors in the know:

 

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With South Korean investors seemingly showing little signs of giving up on their appetite for crypto investments, this news, coupled with the decreasing “Kimchi Premium” for bitcoin - which was as high as 50% last December - will be encouraging to many in the Asian crypto industry.