South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Bans Trading In 11 Countries

Announcements, News | May 28, 2018 By:

Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has banned trading in 11 countries that are considered as high-risk jurisdictions by the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) Initiative.

In an announcement on Monday, Bithumb said that to prevent its platform from being used to launder money and finance criminal activities, it will be blocking all transactions of residents in countries belonging to the NCCT blacklist. The countries include North Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.

NCCT countries are seen by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as jurisdictions with weak measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT). The goal of the NCCT Initiative is to ensure all financial centers adopt and implement measures for the prevention, detection and punishment of money laundering according to internationally recognized standards.

Bithumb said it will no longer accept new users from these countries starting today and existing accounts of users from these nations will be disabled on June 21. The exchange will also implement a mobile verification process for users based outside of South Korea to reduce the presence of identity fraud on the platform.

“The Bithumb team will voluntarily impose strict policies and cooperate closely with local financial authorities to increase the transparency in the cryptocurrency market and protect investors,” a Bithumb spokesperson said. “With progressive voluntary policies, Bithumb will improve the global standard of cryptocurrency exchanges.”