Money Laundering

South Korea Cracks Down Crypto Exchanges on Money Laundering

Money Laundering

South Korea’s top financial regulator has introduced new penalty standards for crypto exchanges that aren’t doing enough to combat anti-money laundering.

South Korea has been on the forefront of the cryptocurrency boom and bust over the past few years. The rules, though not yet in effect, may already be affecting the global crypto market.

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said Wednesday it will fine crypto exchanges that don’t implement stringent measures covering internal controls, information and data retention, and identity verification of users.

Crypto exchange operators in the country must retain information and data connected to any suspicious transactions.

Penalties could range from 30 million to 100 million won (roughly $26,000 to $88,000), effective from April 20.

The announcement comes shortly after South Korea’s second-largest crypto exchange Bithumb tightened its KYC and AML measures on Tuesday. 

South Korea has become a hub for cryptocurrency trading. It is also one of the few countries with wide-scale adoption of the crypto and blockchain technology. 


Thailand Crypto Tourism Push

According to surveys conducted amid the crypto boom in 2017, more than a third of the country’s workers were active investors in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.

Since then, South Korea’s government moved quickly to push new regulations and clamp down on the spread of crypto speculation. 

On the other hand, Thailand wants to attract foreign crypto holders as part of its plan to revive tourism. 

Thailand’s tourism agency plans to bill the country as the first to accept cryptocurrency payments, with the first target to be young and wealthy Japanese tourists – because Japan’s residents are considered to be top holders of Bitcoin. 

“Even Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and a crypto influencer, might be interested in visiting Thailand,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). 

Lately, Thailand’s cinemas are opening their doors to Bitcoin. Major Cineplex Group, the largest movie theatre chain in the country, has launched a digital asset payment pilot project enabling customers to pay in Bitcoin.