South Korea Announces Deadline for Halt of Anonymous Crypto Trading

  • South Korea's financial watchdog has set a deadline for the barring of anonymous cryptocurrency trading accounts within the country.

    According to a new announcement from the Financial Services Commission (FSC), starting from Jan. 30, cryptocurrency investors in South Korea will have to use real-name bank accounts in order to continue trading.

    Once the rule comes into effect, investors can only deposit funds to trade cryptocurrencies if their name on the crypto exchange matches that on their bank account.

    The move comes as part of the financial regulator's push through a strengthened "know-your-customer" (KYC) compliance to curb cryptocurrency speculation. The FSC said in the release that the new rule is resulted from an inspection of domestic anonymous crypto trading accounts – assisted by six domestic banks, as well as the Financial Intelligence Unit – from Jan. 8–16.

    In addition, the official announcement also established an anti-money laundering guideline for cryptocurrency exchanges, which outlines situations where exchanges should stay alert to potential illegal activity.

    The new rule also appears to have a wider affect on foreign nationals who had been using cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea through a virtual bank account. As the FSC's announcement pointed out, minors and non-citizens will be restricted from the new name verification service.

    So far, three major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea have said they are in line with the new mandate.

    In an email response to CoinDesk, a representative from Coinone confirmed that it will enforce the change starting from Jan. 30. "Under the new requirement, six banks are preparing the real-name account linkage with exchanges. They are NongHyup, KookMin, Shinhan, KEBHana, IBK, and JB Bank. As for Coinone, our users have to be registered with NongHyup for the time being," the company said.