Bitcoin latest: South Korea detects $600m of illegal cryptocurrency trading as it steps up regulation

The country this week introduced new rules designed stop digital currencies being used for money laundering

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 31 January 2018 13:09
Comments
Broken representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency, placed on a monitor that displays stock graph and binary codes, are seen in this illustration picture, December 21, 2017
Broken representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency, placed on a monitor that displays stock graph and binary codes, are seen in this illustration picture, December 21, 2017

South Korea has detected hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illegal cryptocurrency trading, shortly after imposing new regulation.

The country’s customs service says that around 637.5bn KRW ($598.6m, £423.2m) worth of foreign exchange crimes have been uncovered.

It isn’t yet clear how the people involved in the rule breaches will be punished, but authorities will continue to monitor for any violations of foreign exchange rules or of money laundering activities.

The findings are a sign that authorities are tightening the regulatory screws on the digital asset that many global policymakers consider to be opaque and risky.

“Customs service have been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force,” South Korea’s customs service said, underscoring stepped-up efforts by Seoul to crack down on illegal trade in the digital asset.

Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion KRW formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, it added.

However, the customs service gave no details on what action authorities were planning to take against the rule breaches.

Effective from 30 January, only real-name bank accounts are allowed to be used for cryptocurrency trading.

The rule is designed to stop bitcoin and other digital currencies from being used for money laundering and other crimes.

Among other breaches, customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.

Contrary to numerous hints that were dropped over recent weeks, South Korea is not planning to ban cryptocurrency trading, the country’s finance minister has said.

The government will instead focus on regulating exchanges.

Additional reporting by Reuters

We’ve teamed up with cryptocurrency trading platform eToro. Click here to get the latest Bitcoin rates and start trading. Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No EU investor protection. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in