Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it will block trading in eleven countries. This is part of its revised internal regulations which are intended at putting a stop to money laundering using its system. Additionally, foreign users will also have to undergo stringent verification process before being allowed to trade.
In order to thwart the inflow of funds relating to global terrorism and offences, all users from NCCT countries will be blocked. Additionally, new members from these nations will not be permitted into the system, with all the existing members being blocked effective from the 21st. According to Bithumb, these rules are being imposed to promote intelligibility.
Apart from fostering transparency, there is need to protect investors from would be fraudsters, as well as market reactions in case of such news breaking out. Bithumb has declared that they will cooperate with the government, as well as adhere to self-regulatory measures, which are in line with the policies introduced by Korean Blockchain Association.
The Korean Blockchain Association is leading self-regulation among cryptocurrencies in the nation. The revised internal regulations of the company are a reflection of what the Korean government recommends, according to the Korean Economic Daily.
Blocking Eleven Countries
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is largely an intergovernmental organization which was set up as an initiative of the G7 to assist in developing guiding principles to fight money laundering. On the other hand, the NCCT are nations that FATF has acknowledged as regions with inadequate policies as well as sets of laws to put a ceiling on money laundering.
In most cases, these countries do not have the regulations to restrict money laundering and the use of various forms of money to finance illegal operations. These countries include Iran, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Iraq. Bithumb’s website indicates that the other countries to be blocked include Tunisia, Yemen, Vanuatu, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia and Serbia.
Business Korea also reiterated that the 11 countries monitored by the NCCT initiative will be banned, taking note that the decision of Bithumb to take this action will go a long way in preventing its infrastructure and platform from being utilized in money laundering as well as any schemes to finance any global terror activities.
By and large, Bithumb basically wants to certify compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws of South Korea. The law enforcement agencies raided their office in January, on tax evasion charges, with no convictions being made. It was however reported that the authorities were simply checking their records.