Korean regulator takes action against 16 foreign cryptocurrency exchanges

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South Korea’s financial intelligence unit is cracking down on 16 foreign cryptocurrency exchanges for operating illegally in the country. “For illegal business activities by unregistered entities, a maximum of 5 years imprisonment or up to KRW 50 million fines can be imposed,” the regulator said.

16 foreign cryptocurrency exchanges flagged by the South Korean regulator

South Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), announced Thursday that the country’s financial intelligence unit (KoFIU) has notified investigative authorities of the illegal business activities of 16 asset service providers. virtual (VASP) not registered.

KoFIU is South Korea’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) and the country’s leading anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) agency.

The 16 entities are Kucoin, MEXC, Phemex, XT.com, Bitrue, ZB.com, Bitglobal, Coinw, Coinex, AAX, Zoomex, Poloniex, BTCEX, BTCC, Digifinex and Pionex.

All 16 cryptocurrency exchanges are based outside of Korea with no formal national presence, the regulator said, adding that they were found to be involved in cryptocurrency trading activities targeting domestic consumers. For example, they offer websites in Korean, organize promotional events aimed at Korean consumers, and provide a payment option that supports the purchase of crypto assets with credit cards in the country.

KoFIU notified foreign cryptocurrency exchanges on July 22 last year that they must register their business with the authority. However, the 16 aforementioned entities continued to operate in South Korea without obtaining registration.

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