July 14, 2024

Korean crypto exchanges rush to implement FATF guidance

PUBLISHED : September 04, 2019 - 18:29

UPDATED : September 04, 2019 - 18:31

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INCHEON -- The head of South Korea’s major crypto asset exchange Upbit said on Sept. 4 that the country’s crypto exchanges are moving to implement a June guidance by Financial Action Task Force to curb the criminal use of their digital assets.

“(Korea’s cryptocurrency exchanges) are at the nascent stage of discussion,” Lee Sir-goo, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Upbit operator Dunamu, told the press on Sept. 4 during the Upbit Developer Conference 2019 in Incheon.

“We should take local players into account when implementing the requirements, but in such a way that the guidance works globally as well.”

Dunamu CEO Lee Sir-goo

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Plans to do so will materialize through Seoul-based exchanges’ advocacy group Korea Blockchain Association, added Lee, who doubles as the group’s director. He has been CEO of Dumanu since January 2018 and formerly headed Korea’s mobile software giant Kakao from 2011 to 2015.

The amendment of FATF’s recommendation requires that virtual asset service providers be regulated for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. The service providers should also be licensed or registered, and subject to effective systems for monitoring or supervision.

Lee saw FATF’s decision as a boon to Korea‘s crypco exchanges, which under the Korean authorities’ order must own real-name bank accounts and have their contracts with a commercial bank renewed for every six months to accept Korean won trading on its exchange.

“Burdens of banks that create accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges are likely to be relieved when FATF recommendation takes effect here,” Lee said, while calling for lawmakers’ attention to the issue.

Korea is seeing “zero progress” in terms of cryptocurrency exchanges’ relief from the mandatory use of bank accounts and cross-border remittance via virtual assets, Lee added.

By Son Ji-hyoung (

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