On Tuesday, South Korean communication watchdog, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), imposed a fine on one of the country’s cryptocurrency exchange operators for allegedly leaking the private data of its users.
As the first punitive action, the commission slapped a fine of 60 million won ($54,970) on BTC Korea.com, which is an operator of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb. According to KCC, the operator allegedly showed negligence in protecting private data of the platform users.
The exchange has been attacked twice by hackers who stole the private data of users, and according to the KCC, the platform stored all the information without any encryption or even updating its antivirus software.
As quoted by the Korean Herald, a KCC spokesperson said: “The punitive action was taken as the operator did not comply with protective steps, making it vulnerable to hacks and causing leaks of personal data and financial damage.”
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This is the first time that a South Korean authority has imposed a fine on the country’s thriving crypto exchanges.
In the current Bitcoin frenzy all around the world, South Korea has seen a steep rise in cryptocurrency enthusiasts. According to some estimations, around 1 million South Koreans hold cryptocurrencies.
But the boom in South Korea’s crypto economy has also attracted the attention of the government. A few months back, the South Korean regulatory body imposed a blanket ban on ICOs and the government also set up committees to study and regulate the market.
Recently, according to some reports, the country’s authority body has considered allowing cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the country under six strict rules.
The craze has even got the attention of the country’s prime minister, who said: “…young Koreans including students are jumping in to make quick money and virtual currencies are used in illegal activities like drug dealing or multi-level marketing for frauds. If we let things continue, I feel some serious pathological phenomenons could occur.”