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. Since Bithumb ranks first in South Korea and sixth in the world in terms of trading volume, its latest decision is expected to have a great ripple effect.
Bithumb announced on May 27 that it has decided to outright ban trading in all of the 11 countries monitored by the NCCT Initiative to prevent its infrastructure and platform from being used to launder money and any international finance terror or criminal activities by revising its regulations on prevention of money laundering.
The major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange will no longer accept new users from the 11 countries listed as the NCCT and is expected to disable the accounts of users from these countries on June 21. The NCCT are countries the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) have 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.
As an additional measure, the 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.