Korean Crypto Exchange ‘Prixbit’ Shuts Down Over Banking Woes

Korean Crypto Exchange ‘Prixbit’ Shuts Down Over Banking Woes

South Korea’s Prixbit cryptocurrency exchange has officially closed down.

In a website post dated Aug. 9 and entitled ‘Prixbitend,’ the exchange declared it would cease operations. The move was subsequently reported by local press.

“Due to negative internal and external influences, management difficulties could not be overcome and normal operation became impossible,” the founder wrote.

The exchange said it had worked hard to deal with hacking, money laundering and voice phishing. It promised to return all deposits for people who had provided customer information to allow for return. For other tokens still on deposit, the site encouraged the owners to register for a refund as soon as possible.

An Aug. 19 report in BusinessKorea said that the failure of the exchange had to do with “financial difficulties” and that investors were concerned about their holdings.

The report noted the bifurcation of the local market — in which four exchanges are able to connect to local banks for fiat transactions while the rest have been shut out from the financial system — as well as the low trading volume as factors.

Business Korea wrote that an estimated 200 Korean exchanges are in danger of closing down, a full 97 percent of the sector.

According to the magazine, the weakness of the local environment is leading many coins to seek listings overseas, while non-Korean exchanges are looking to provide won-denominated services.

It mentions Mediblock, a medical-related blockchain project, and Temco, a supply-chain blockchain project, as examples of local Korean players seeking the listing of their coins on overseas markets. The magazine said they were looking at Singapore or the U.S.

Prixbit’s failure comes as the sector works to tighten security and get back to basics. Coinone has been especially active in this respect, doing a security validation and publishing listing rules recently, while its Malta exchange is in the process of closing.

Very little information is available about Prixbit and it seemed to do very little while in existence. According to Foundico, which tracks ICOs, the beta launched in February 2019. The formal opening was set for September, and the exchange was to issue two tokens, the GRX and the PRX.