South Korean Crypto Exchanges Team Up to Tackle Money Laundering

The real-time system will flag any suspicious transaction, further blocking the related accounts.

Four major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea – Bithumb, Upbit, Corbit, and Coinone – have joined hands to tackle the woes of money laundering using digital currencies, according to a report by the local news agency Yonhap.

To share information in real-time, the exchanges have established a hotline. This system will flag any unusual transactions that are suspected to involve criminal acts, such as voice phishing and pyramid schemes on any of the exchanges and share the information across.

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According to an anonymous official of one of the operators, the system will also block the accounts of any suspicious looking transaction.

“They are now able to instantly check any wrongful transactions made at other exchanges and take necessary measures, such as blocking their own related accounts,” the anonymous official told Yonhap. “The cooperative step against money laundering via cryptocurrencies is expected to boost the soundness of the industry and to better protect consumers.”

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Illegal Practices in Rising

South Korea is one of the most lucrative cryptocurrency markets across the globe. However, the adoption of the new economy has also increased the risks of illegal financial activities both among businesses and individuals.

Earlier this month, a South Korean court handed a prison sentence to two executives of the crypto exchange Komid for faking exchange volumes and deceiving customers. Upbit, one of the exchanges in the anti-AML partnership, was also accused of a similar case. Last month, three of its officials, including two top executives, were indicted for manipulating transactions and creating fake orders worth 254 trillion won (around $226 billion).

The reputation of Bithumb, the country’s largest crypto exchange, was also tainted with charges of faking trade volumes since late summer 2018.

To overcome the lack of proper regulatory constraints, the formation of a self-regulatory alliance among the exchanges was first done in Japan with the establishment of the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). As many as 16 exchanges in the country signed to comply with the standards of the consortium amid the theft from Coincheck in early-2018.

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