South Korean Authorities have reportedly started investigating a number of the country’s biggest financial institution in connection with their involvement in the growing Bitcoin and cyptocurrency trading market. The growth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies along with the growing interest in crypto trading has caught the eye of local authorities who are now ramping up their involvement in hopes of one day regulating the market and curbing speculative trading.
Due to the private nature of cryptocurrencies and the robustness of the blockchain, it would be very easy for criminal entities to use these type of transactions for money laundering and other criminal activities. Other concerns involves possible tax evasion schemes, speculative trading, and market manipulation. Local authorities reportedly are beginning to investigate different accounts related to cryptocurrency exchanges, which they have had under their radar for quite some time now.
According to a local media report, the investigation was launched by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service and the Financial Intelligence Unit and involves six of the country’s biggest banks. Authorities have reportedly pinpointed 111 bank accounts linked to these Bitcoin exchanges with a total account value of around two trillion won or $1.8 billion. Both agencies will reportedly conduct a thorough investigation into these account while also trying to determine the depth of the involvement of their respective banks. All of the accounts are tied to different institutions directly involved with the country’s booming Bitcoin exchange market. Most of the markets have reportedly elevated their exchange prices to unfair amounts when compared to other markets around the world.
— CoinDesk (@coindesk) January 11, 2018
All of the banks have reportedly complied with the demands as they are required by law to adhere to the country’s money laundering reporting policies. South Korea remains to be one of the most active countries seeking to regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. It had previously proposed a regulation to ban all cryptocurrency trading and markets that did not comply with their imposed rules. This includes trading institutions that conduct their business anonymously and those that do not report their transactions to the proper agencies.
According to a separate report from a local news agency, South Korean authorities have apparently reached out to China and Japan to come up with a plan to properly regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading within their respective countries. Several representatives from the South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) reportedly met with similar representatives from Japan and China last month to exchange ideas and to discuss future plans for regulations.