Bithumb Exchange Bans Users From 11 “High-Risk” Countries
Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced Sunday that it plans to voluntarily adopt stricter anti-money laundering (AML) measures, including the decision to ban trading for users living in “high-risk” areas and placing additional restrictions on foreign investors.
In the announcement, a Bithumb spokesperson highlighted the voluntary nature of the exchange’s recent decision.
“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. With progressive voluntary policies, Bithumb will improve the global standard of cryptocurrency exchanges.”
The ban went into effect on May 28, however, existing users won’t have their accounts disabled until June 21.
South Korea’s Anti-Money Laundering Crusade
With the ban, Bithumb will no longer accept new users from North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Sri Lanka, along with seven other locations which have been labeled as “high-risk” by the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) initiative. Both NCCT and Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) have recognized these countries as regions with insufficient policies and regulations to restrict money laundering, terrorist financing and other illegal activities.
Bithumb has proactively reinforced its anti-money laundering policies by implementing the recommendations of South Korean government and Korea Blockchain Association.
“Bithumb will soon request foreign users to endure a mobile verification process to ensure users cannot deceive the platform by falsifying personal information and residential address starting from next month.”