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Bithumb Blocks Trading in 12 Countries


Bithumb announced on Sunday that its internal regulations have been revised in order to prevent money laundering activities using its system, according to local media. Business Korea elaborated:

With growing concerns over money laundering through cryptocurrency trading, Bithumb, South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, will ban digital asset trading with investors in North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and eight other countries that are considered as high-risk jurisdictions by the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) Initiative.

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At the time of this writing, Bithumb’s 48-hour trading volume has overtaken Upbit’s, standing at about $252 million. The Kakao-backed exchange Upbit’s trading volume for the same time period is approximately $237 million, according to Coinmarketcap.

To prevent the inflow of funds relating to “international terrorism and crime,” users from NCCT countries “shall be blocked,” Bithumb wrote, adding that new members from these countries will not be accepted and existing members will be blocked from the 22st.

Bithumb says it is self-enforcing these strict rules to foster the transparent cryptocurrency market and investor protection. “We will cooperate with the government” and follow self-regulatory measures based on the policies introduced by the Korean Blockchain Association, the exchange emphasized. The Korean Blockchain Association is spearheading self-regulation among crypto exchanges in the country. Bithumb’s revised internal regulations reflect “the government’s recommendations and the Korean Blockchain Association’s recommendations,” Korea Economic Daily elaborated.

Blocking 12 Countries

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organization on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.

Bithumb Blocks Trading in 11 Countries
Bithumb Blocks Trading in 11 Countries

The NCCT are countries the FATF has “recognized as regions with insufficient policies and regulations to restrict money laundering and the utilization of various forms of money to finance illegal operations, including North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka,” Business Korea described.

According to Bithumb’s website, the other countries are Serbia, Ethiopia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, and Yemen.

The publication added:

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.

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