Business 23 January 2018

Ed Drake

South Korea puts an end to anonymous crypto trading

The chief financial regulator of South Korea has set a cut-off date for cryptocurrency traders using anonymous accounts, as the country continues to roll-out measures to regulate cryptocurrency trading.

According to announcements made by the Financial Services Commission this week, investors will be required to use real-name accounts for trading in cryptocurrencies by January 30.

The new rules will mean traders can only add funds to accounts that match the name given on their bank accounts, and all those engaging in cryptocurrency trading will be required to adhere to the rules before they can continue to make investments.

The decision to roll out the new regulations comes as part of a broader drive by the South Korean authorities to regulate cryptocurrencies. In particular, regulators have been keen to beef up KYC (know-your-customer) requirements.

The new rules come off the back of an investigation carried out by the FSC in conjunction with six of the country’s leading banks earlier this month, examining the extent and nature of anonymous cryptocurrency trading accounts.

The provisions will also come with new guidelines for exchanges, aimed at increasing anti-money laundering protections and limiting illegal use of cryptocurrencies.

According to the statement released by the FSC, the new rules are designed to highlight and act on specific transactions that could be suspicious.

“Specifically, for users to make virtual currency transactions more than 10 million won per day or more than 20 million won for 7 days when depositing and withdrawing funds, this is the type of financial transaction you suspect for money laundering,” the FSC stated.

The laws will also prevent non-citizens from accessing South Korean exchanges through no-name accounts. The measures already have support of three of the country’s leading exchanges, who have said they are already in compliance with the new requirements.

The announcement of the date for the new measures coming into force comes on the heels of speculations about how and when the new measures would shape up. It is expected that the measures will significantly impact cryptocurrency trading in South Korea.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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