The self-regulatory body known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has officially slapped a former investment banker, Kyung Soo Kim, with both a fine as well as a suspension from mining Bitcoin.
The regulator goes on to explain the reasoning for this decision in a statement. Arguing that Kim pursued his outside business activity of mining Bitcoin during December 2017, all without providing the needed legal written notice to his now former employer. As a result of this, Kim is now an ex-employee of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Incorporated, the broker-dealer owned by the Bank of America.
FINRA claims that Kim's own Bitcoin based mining venture presented a violation of its rules. Within these rules, the action of operating his own mining business stood in violation of company policy – in which, employees are prohibited from serving as an 'employee, independent contractor, sole proprietor, officer, director or partner of another person' outside of their main employer.
Moonlighting – Zero Tolerance, According to the FINRA, not Even Bitcoin Mining
Along with these set out regulations by Merrill Lynch, members are also strictly forbidden from being ‘compensated, or have the reasonable expectation of compensation, from any other person as a result of any business activity outside the scope of the relationship’ that employees already have with their employer. As a result of these findings from the firm, Kim was subsequently discharged from his duties by the company last year in March
To be more specific, Kim is being accused of forming his own corporation, which is known as S Corporation, with the express purpose of mining Bitcoin along with other profitable cryptocurrencies. Along with being relieved of his duties with the company, Kim will also serve a one-month suspension term, in which will see him barred from associated with any member companies of FINRA during this span of time. On top of this, he is also required to pay a fine of approximately $5,000.
Taking into consideration that he had formed his cryptocurrency mining company back in late 2017 during the fever pitch of the cryptocurrency explosion, especially Bitcoin. It is really hard to argue against the fact that Kim himself was not spellbound with the prospect of getting involved in mining a cryptocurrency that is undergoing a bullish run that would never end, at least, in the minds of prospective investors.
In a World of Miners – Everybody Wants to Mine Bitcoin
This choice of punishment by the FINRA handed out to Kim for cryptocurrency mining may seem rather light in contrast with what other miners have suffered, even under lighter circumstances.
Over the course of May 2019, it was also reported that an Australian citizen would be facing a ten year prison term for his part in mining cryptocurrencies through the use of government computers. Which is a pretty brutal sentence to be dealt out to someone, especially considering the fact that he only successfully mined up to $9,000 worth of cryptocurrencies.
Just last month it was reported that an Australian man was facing a ten-year prison sentence for mining cryptocurrencies on government computers. That’s a high price to pay considering that he had only mined cryptocurrencies worth $9,000.
Late last month a 61-year-old woman received a four-month jail sentence for stealing electricity with a view of mining bitcoin. The woman, Qiuping Tang, was also slapped with a $1,500 fine after a lawsuit was filed by the offended power utility.