Upbit is a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange that, even since its launch in October 2017, has been slowly starting to make quite a name for itself. Not long after its launch, Upbit became the biggest cryptocurrency exchange service in the country by average daily trading volumes.
Its staggering success and good online traction have been possible because Upbit is backed by Korea’s biggest messaging app developer, Kakao. The company’s “Kakao Talk” application is the most important messaging application in South Korea. Not only this, but Kakao is also the power behind Daum, South Korea’s second most popular search engine.
The Korean giant also offers a taxi app similar to Uber, a music streaming service, a YouTube-like video sharing platform, a popular mobile gaming network, and Kakao Pay, which is the second largest mobile payment system in South Korea.
To make sure that the launch of Upbit won’t go unnoticed by the world, Kakao Corp teamed up with Bittrex, an American and one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. Not long after its launch, in December 2017 when the world was hyped about cryptocurrencies and things were looking very well, Upbit’s average trading volume reached $4,5 billion a day. The record for one-day trading volume is $11 billion.
General information about the exchange platform
The first thing users need to know about Upbit is the fact that it’s an exchange exclusively aimed at South Korean residents. Not only does opening an account require various verifications procedures (which are all very geo-specific), but the exchange platform is only available in Korean.
The platform has various aspects that are very similar to KakaoStock. Users are able to access everything this platform has to offer through their Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as by using any computer running typical web browsers. Even though the application does not offer leveraged cryptocurrency trading, it compensates by offering traders a high-quality analysis, coin investment guides, altcoins analysis information, and other types of useful information.
Another noteworthy aspect of Upbit is the fact that the only accepted fiat currency is the South Korean Won. The most impressive thing, though, is UpBit’s wide range of supported crypto coins and tokens which include almost all the top 100 cryptos by market cap.
UpBit currently offers more than 200 trading pairs, especially thanks to its partnership with Bittrex. Every other trading pair except those with Korean Won is provided through the American exchange.
As far as fees go, Upbit only charges withdrawals varied fees based on the cryptocurrencies being withdrawn (depositing is free). The trading fees are somewhere around what most other South Korean exchanges charge and are set at 0,25% for both markers and takers. Payments are made either via credit card or wire transfers.
Security is one of the most important aspects of the cryptocurrency exchange which boasts high-tech cybersecurity standards to ensure that traders are always protected. To start off with, traders are required to authenticate using legal forms of identification. Another layer of security is provided by the 2-factor authentication.
What’s more, Upbit’s online wallet security is provided by BitGo, which boasts one of the best global standards in multi-signature wallets and is used by many leading crypto exchanges in the international crypto scheme. Another protection layer is provided by Kakao Pay, the mobile payments app.
Creating an account
Getting started with Upbit is not difficult. However, besides being a South Korean citizen, traders must be over 19 years old. Traders should also take into consideration that the ID verification process usually takes up to a couple of days. As expected, creating an account on Upbit is free, as no fees are charged.
The support process on Upbit is generally good with various expert consultants ready to lend a helping hand to traders in need. The exchange provides customer support through email, KakaoTalk or via telephone.
Pros and Cons
One of the main advantages of Upbit is the fact that is backed by one of South Korea’s most prominent companies, which should help it have a favorable future. Other advantages include the high number of important cryptocurrencies currently supported, as well as the comprehensive security features.
Regarding the disadvantages, the most obvious disadvantage is the fact that Upbit is a platform that’s practically inaccessible for international traders. Other cons include the fact that the only supported fiat currency is the South Korean Won and the fact that margin trading is not offered.
Currently, according to CoinMarketCap, Upbit is very close to challenging Bithumb (its direct South Korean competitor) as far as trading volume is concerned. With the backing from Kakao Corp and boasting a powerful partnership with Bittrex, we wouldn’t be surprised if Upbit will soon hold its own against the top 3 crypto exchanges.
Even if Upbit doesn’t conquer the market at an international level, the exchange could move cryptocurrency significantly closer to mainstream adoption across the country which is not a small feat on its own.