THE largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea – Bithumb has reportedly banned 11 countries from using their exchanges, citing money laundering concerns, with North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
Bithumb made this announcement earlier today, adding that it has taken this measure to comply with global anti-money laundering norms by blocking all transactions of traders in countries that belong to the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) blacklist.
The 11 black-listed countries are viewed by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as regions that refuse to take sufficient measure to fight money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial market. The other countries on the list are; Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, and Yemen.
Bithumb announced that the measure was effective as of yesterday May 27, and they have stopped accepting new users from the said countries. For the existing users, their accounts will be disabled come June 21.
Data pulled from CoinMarketCap indicated that Bithumb is Korea’s largest and the world’s fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange, and has traded more than $400 million in tokens in 24 hours.
In addition to that, Bithumb further announced that it has strengthened its own anti-money laundering policies via the implementation of the recommendations of authorities from the South Korean government and the Korean Blockchain Association.
The Korean Blockchain Association is a self-regulating working group that was established in December last year. The body has introduced several regulatory measures such as ethical codes, this will aim to bring transparency into the local cryptocurrency trading markets.
The body has also implemented some strict regulations that will prevent issues of market manipulation and insider trading.
Commenting on this latest development, a spokesperson for the exchange stated that: “We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors while we actively cooperate with local authorities.”
For users outside South Korea, Bithumb is currently undergoing mobile verification for them to ensure that falsification of information is avoided.