There will be a ban on trading cryptocurrency using anonymous bank accounts in South Korea from January 30, this is to remind stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes. The measure comes on top of stepped up efforts by Seoul to temper South Koreans’ obsession with trading cryptocurrency.
Local cryptocurrency traders will not be allowed to make deposits into their virtual currency exchange wallets unless the names on their bank accounts matches the account name in cryptocurrency exchanges, Kim Yong-beom, the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Commission told a news conference in Seoul.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a string of warnings from global policy makers about cryptocurrency trading, including those from South Korea’s chief financial regulator last week who said the government might consider shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges.
The regulator has previously said it would come up with detailed guidelines for local banks to properly identify its clients by their real names in cryptocurrency transactions.
To make deposits into virtual coin wallets, cryptocurrency traders will need to identify themselves with their real names at the exchange and have those matched with information at local banks by Jan. 30.
Policy makers around the world are calling for tougher, coordinated regulation of trading cryptocurrency. South Korea’s chief financial regulator last week said the government may consider shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges.
South Korea’s Presidential office has clarified that an outright ban on trading on the virtual currency exchanges is only one of the steps being considered, and not a measure that has been finalised.
“The government is still discussing whether an outright ban is needed or not, internally,” a government official who declined to be named said after Tuesday’s briefing.
Over the past month, government statements have underscored differences between the Justice Ministry, which has pushed for a more hardline approach, and regulators who have shown a reluctance to enforce an outright ban on trading cryptocurrency.