Global anti-money laundering body briefed on S. Korea's obligations on cryptocurrency
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Global anti-money laundering body briefed on S. Korea's obligations on cryptocurrency

2018/02/26 12:00

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SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's financial regulator has briefed a global anti-money laundering body on its obligations related to cryptocurrency transactions to tackle money laundering, officials said Monday.

South Korea's anti-money laundering guidelines for cryptocurrency trading were the first to be drawn up among members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Financial Services Commission said in a statement.

At its regular meeting of 37 members in Paris last week, member states also urged the global body to improve the understanding of money laundering risks relating to cryptocurrencies, the commission said.

South Korea, home to one of the world's biggest bitcoin exchanges, has banned anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies and requires financial companies to properly verify their customers.

Under the obligations, financial firms in South Korea are required to closely monitor financial transactions and conduct enhanced customer due diligence if a virtual currency exchange is suspected of using employee accounts for virtual currency-related financial transactions.

In a stark contrast to the government's previous stance of considering shutting down local virtual currency exchanges, South Korea's financial regulator said last week that it will support "normal transactions" of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have rapidly gained popularity among South Korean investors hoping to make a quick return.

Despite a boom in cryptocurrency transactions, the exchanges go largely unregulated in South Korea, as they are not recognized as financial products due to the country having no rules for protecting virtual currency investors.

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