Biz / Tech

SK to adopt real name for crypto trading

AP
Softening its tough stance on crypto trading for now, South Korea said yesterday it would adopt a system requiring that transactions that until now were anonymous be traceable
AP

Softening its tough stance on crypto trading for now, South Korea said yesterday it would adopt a system requiring that transactions that until now were anonymous be traceable. It also will more closely monitor trading for signs that transactions may be linked to tax evasion or other crimes.

The bitcoin markets appeared to take the news in stride.

Financial Services Commission Vice Chair Kim Yong-beom said that starting next week, local banks will launch a real-name system for trading of crypto currencies to help curb speculation and criminal activities.

That means banks will have to ensure any crypto currency investment comes from a bank account owned by the same individual. The measure will prevent such trading by foreigners living outside South Korea who do not have local bank accounts. It also will ban minors younger than 19 from buying or selling bitcoins and other digital currencies.

Once the new system is in place, existing anonymous accounts used for crypto trading will be cancelled, he said.

The moves follow warnings by South Korean authorities that they might ban anonymous trading in crypto currencies and crack down on speculative trading. Regulators are seeking to prevent use of crypto currency trading for money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activities.

The new requirements could also lead to a shutdown of some crypto currency exchanges. Banks will be able to refuse to open accounts with crypto currency exchanges that refuse to disclose information about suspicious trading.

“We expect that crypto currency exchanges that are in danger of being exploited for money laundering will be thrown out of the market,” Kim said.

The government is also asking financial institutions to step up their oversight of the virtual currency sector. Lenders were told to closely monitor crypto trading that exceeds 10 million won (US$9,338) a day or 20 million won per week and also crypto trading accounts owned by corporations or groups and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.



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