While several crypto-related companies in South Korea were having a tough time due to controversial regulatory efforts in the country, Upbit was able to retain its title as the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

According to Representative (Rep.) Yoon Do-hyun of the People Power Party, the largest exchange in South Korea reported a high number of transactions and subscribers, as well as the amount of cash parked. Data from Do-hyun showed Upbit was close to 5.3 trillion won [$4.5 million] deposited in his accounts, which was more than the competing exchanges – Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit combined.

Even so, Bithumb came in second with deposits valued at 1.3 trillion won [$1.1 Trillion]. Coinone and Korbit came in third and fourth with 248 billion won and 69 billion won, respectively. This could be due to Upbit’s popularity amid ongoing regulatory changes.

The same was reflected in the total number of users, which reached 4.7 million, which in turn was more than that of Bitthumb or any other exchange. For comparison: The number of users of Upbit was 47 times higher than that of Korbit. However, all four exchanges had welcomed millions of users in 2021 alone.

Data suggested that nearly 1.8 million new users opened accounts with Upbit between April and July, while Bithumb attracted 450,000 new users. Coinone and Korbit also recorded 170,000 and 45,000 users, respectively, joining their platforms over the same period.

Upbit’s popularity and size forced it to move away from its competitors in developing solutions to the “travel rule”. The rule requires asset service providers to provide real name verification of the sender’s identity for international transfers. Upbit indicated that it will work on compliance with the “travel rule” through its in-house research division Lambda256 for blockchain technology. This regulation comes into force on March 25, 2022.

South Korean users turned to major exchanges amid changing regulations, and according to reports, Upbit has the advantage of being the first exchange to be filed with regulators. The smaller exchanges, however, were crushed under the weight of a plethora of mandates to be fulfilled. A recent report from the authorities found that out of 63 applicants, only 21 exchanges received ISMS certification because they met the various standards required for it.