PR: Dr. Moe Levin Joins Advisory Committee at Energy Platform 4NEW

Dr. Moe Levin Advices Energy Platform 4NEW

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

LONDON – With energy consumption of each bitcoin transaction equal to 17.5 U.S household’s daily consumption as of January 31, 2018, sustainability and feasibility of cryptocurrencies has been fiercely debated by both proponents and skeptics alike.

4NEW’s elegant and efficient end to end solution, figuratively, enables blockchain to have its own battery pack with global and scalable ramifications. In an environment where conventional power providers are shrugging away from crypto mining operators as witnessed earlier this week by Bitmain. Additionally, Chinese power plants are also scathing away from crypto mining operations amid regulatory pressures. Given the lack of options to sustain crypto mining globally, one company, 4NEW, has decided to usher in a new era for cryptocurrencies by providing all its power output to crypto-mining farms.

The 4NEW business model is entirely disrupting the traditional utilities company, which is bogged by bureaucracy and governmental roadblocks. Mr. Saransh Sharma, CEO of Mirach Capital Group commented “Its important to note that 4NEW’s launch of the KWATT Coin last year is literally placing the power in the hands of the people. 4NEW is not an exchange claiming to be backed by energy units produced and supplied by others. 4NEW is the producer of energy and therefore, we generate the electricity, that we own and consequently can use to embed the coin with. Our model removes all middle men from the equation.”

4NEW is anticipated to complete the installation of its first plant in June 2018; 6 months earlier than previously anticipated. This lead time certainly enables 4NEW to maintain a first mover advantage towards standardizing transaction fees. This standardization of fees will not only enable cryptocurrencies to usher in a new era of mainstream utilization amidst volatile markets but also sustain global scalability.

To guide 4NEW through these unchartered territories Dr. Moe Levin has been announced as the most recent addition to the noteworthy advisory board. Dr. Moe Levin is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Keynote, founder of the North American Bitcoin Conference, an investor in high-tech startups, and an advisor to governments, regulators, banks, and venture-backed companies.

Some of the projects he has been involved with include The Global Blockchain Council in Dubai (2015 – present) , the harmonized VAT treatment of Bitcoin (2013), The OECD Working Party 9 (2013-2014).

Moe is also the co-founder of the first accredited Blockchain Academy, and an early investor in RSK Labs, Labfresh, Dropbox, and others. Prior to founding Keynote, Moe was responsible for launching one of the first venture-backed bitcoin startups which raised $30m from Richard Branson, Index Ventures and others.

At 4NEW we look forward to utilizing Dr. Levin’s deep insight and extensive network to help combat the voracious energy consumption caused by cryptocurrency transactions.

About 4NEW

4NEW, is a Waste to Energy treatment facility, not an energy exchange, with a vision to combat the global energy crisis by disrupting conventional utilities supply chain. By placing the power in the hands of the people, we hope to reduce the cost of energy by removing the intermediaries from the supply chain. The 4NEW ICO is currently ongoing.

Website: www.4new.io
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAEOKyRm8so
Telegram – https://t.me/joinchat/EgIZbBDLYGHlhtbSS58i-Q
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/4newcoin/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/4newcoin
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/4newcoin/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/4new/

Contact Email Address
press@4new.co.uk
Supporting Link
www.4new.io

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Leading Australian Banks Allow Customers to Purchase Cryptocurrencies

Three of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks have issued comments regarding their respective policy positions with regards to their customers’ ability to purchase cryptocurrency using accounts issued by said banks. The statements come weeks after reports surfaced detailing an apparent banking embargo on the part of Australian banks targeting cryptocurrency businesses.

Also Read: Australian Freeze: Big Aussie Banks Denying Bitcoiners

ANZ and Westpac Allow Customers to Purchase Cryptocurrency for Now

Leading Australian Banks Allow Customers to Purchase CryptocurrenciesAccording to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a spokesperson representing Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) stated that the bank “does not prohibit customers buying digital or cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as a form of payment.” ANZ’s spokesperson added that the bank “monitors transactions for unusual behavior to protect against potential fraud and in line with our regulatory responsibilities.”

ANZ however, does not provide banking services to “businesses that operate as issuers, dealers or exchanges of digital or cryptocurrency,” with the spokesperson stating that “these businesses are currently unregulated and therefore not within ANZ policy”.

Westpac has indicated a permissive stance with regards to its customers’ ability to purchase virtual currencies, with a spokeswoman stating “We currently have no restrictions on credit card use to purchase cryptocurrency.” However, the representative refused to comment on whether the bank is considering introducing a prohibitive policy in future like those currently enforced by Westpac’s U.K. and U.S. based counterparts.

NAB and CBA Restrict Customer Access to Cryptocurrencies

Leading Australian Banks Allow Customers to Purchase CryptocurrenciesNational Bank of Australia (NAB) has taken a more cautionary tone, with a representative stating that “[the Australian Securities and Investments Commission] advises that, as most of the virtual currency exchange platforms are generally not regulated, customers may not be protected or have any legal recourse if the platform fails or is hacked.” As such, NAB stated: “To reduce the risk for our customers, and to help protect their money, some card transactions may not be processed,” adding “We take the protection of our customers’ information and accounts extremely seriously.”

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) declined to respond to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s request for comment, however anecdotal reports have long indicated that CBA has prevented its customers from conducting wire transfers to major cryptocurrency exchanges.

Do you think that more banks will seek to restrict their customers’ ability to purchase cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Most Crypto Traders in South Korea Remain Anonymous Despite Regulations

Most Crypto Traders in South Korea Remain Anonymous Despite Regulations

Most cryptocurrency investors in South Korea remain anonymous without moving their accounts to the government-mandated real-name system. So far, less than 10% of crypto traders have converted their virtual accounts into real-name ones.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

8% Conversion Rate So Far

The real-name system for cryptocurrency exchange customers was introduced as part of the government’s cryptocurrency regulations and went into effect on January 30. The new system is supposed to replace the existing virtual account system which allows for the anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies. However, after one week, only 8.21% of all crypto virtual accounts in the country have been converted into real-name ones, local media report.

Most Crypto Traders in South Korea Remain Anonymous Despite RegulationsSix major South Korean banks have installed the real-name system. However, only three of them are offering the account conversion service to cryptocurrency exchanges: Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), Nonghyup Bank, and Shinhan Bank.

According to the regulators, existing virtual accounts must be converted into real-name ones for traders to deposit money for crypto trading. This new system enables banks to confirm the identity of customers and fulfil their anti-money laundering (AML) obligations.

However, Yonhap reported on Tuesday that “the total number of accounts that these three banks have to convert to the real-name system is a total of 1,745,000.” After one week, “Only 143,330 of 1,745,000 accounts were converted,” which the news outlet elaborated:

Not even 10% conversion rate…1.6 million accounts have not confirmed their real names.

Slow-Paced Conversion

According to the publication, IBK has the highest conversion rate out of the three banks. This bank, which services the Kakao-backed exchange Upbit, has issued approximately 570,000 virtual accounts but has only converted 12.46% or 71,000 accounts into real-name ones after one week.

Most Crypto Traders in South Korea Remain Anonymous Despite RegulationsShinhan Bank has converted 9.84% of Korbit accounts into real-name ones, or approximately 12,000 out of about 122,000 accounts.

Nonghyup Bank has converted about 13,000 accounts for Coinone, which is 8.67% of 150,000 accounts, the publication detailed.

The bank also converted 47,000 of Bithumb’s 900,000 accounts, which is 5.22%. The low conversion rate for Bithumb is largely due to its main bank, Shinhan, deciding to delay converting Bithumb’s virtual accounts while the police are investigating the exchange regarding the hacks last year. In addition to minors and foreigners being prohibited from opening an account, the news outlet elaborated:

The slow pace of real-name trading is that investors do not need to confirm their real name if they do not intend to spend more money on virtual currency.

Currently, customers using existing virtual accounts can continue to trade with existing funds and make withdrawals from the accounts without interruption.

Do you think the majority of South Korean traders will convert their accounts to real-name ones soon? Let us know in the comments section below.


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JPMorgan, Bank of America Say No to Crypto Transactions on Credit Cards

The post JPMorgan, Bank of America Say No to Crypto Transactions on Credit Cards appeared first on CCN

The top two US banks took what little wind was left in investors’ sales today. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have both placed a ban on cryptocurrency transactions via credit cards, according to Bloomberg reports. The bitcoin price is holding at about a 5.75% decline, trading at $8,589 in what is shaping up to … Continued

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Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurrencies Overseas

Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies Overseas

The largest bank in Russia, the state-owned Sberbank, has reportedly announced its plans to bypass the Russian cryptocurrency regulations and offer crypto trading to customers overseas. The bank is looking at trading pairs of the most liquid and well-known cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Bypassing Russian Regulations

Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies OverseasAt a news briefing on Tuesday, Sberbank’s Head of Global Markets Andrey Shemetov said that the bank “plans to start trading cryptocurrencies outside Russia in order to avoid violating domestic rules,” Reuters reported. Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and third largest in Europe. It is majority-owned by the Russian government.

According to Shemetov, “Russian laws bar Sberbank from trading cryptocurrencies.” However, “the state-controlled bank wants to be able to serve clients in what is a popular market for some investors,” the news outlet explained. “That’s why we think that we need to have a strategic access to these products,” he told reporters. Tass then quoted him emphasizing:

In Russia, we cannot trade [cryptocurrency], but we want to satisfy the interests of clients, and we believe that we must have access to a wide range of products.

The Russian finance ministry recently published the draft law on the regulation of digital assets in Russia including cryptocurrencies. This bill is expected to enter into force in September.

The Swiss Operation

Sberbank to Bypass Russian Regulations and Trade Cryptocurencies OverseasSberbank’s solution for crypto trading is its branch in Switzerland called Sberbank (Switzerland) AG, headquartered in Zurich. Shemetov revealed that the bank’s Swiss subsidiary is creating “an infrastructure for trading in cryptocurrencies,” Tass reported. He clarified, “We completely build the trading infrastructure so that we can open our own positions and give customers service, that is, buy and sell for clients,” reiterating:

Swiss laws allow cryptocurrency trading, and we are working on infrastructure to start offering these services through our Swiss subsidiary.

Initially, “The product will be available only to legal entities,” Ria Novosti detailed. Shemetov noted, “The product is very risky, the volatility is very high, so we will not provide these services to a large number of customers,” adding:

We are looking at all of the cryptocurrency pairs that are the most liquid, [and] their names are known. We will see what’s interesting to the clients, where is some liquidity…Obviously, we will not go into a low-liquidity crypto.

In November of last year, Sberbank bought up a lot of graphics cards that can be used for cryptocurrency mining, causing a shortage of these products on the Russian market. The bank said at the time that these cards were for its “laboratory of artificial intelligence.”

The president and chairman of the board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, said earlier this month at the annual Gaidar forum, as reported by local media, “Cryptocurrencies cannot be banned, it’s a wonderful new technology which has not yet been fully captured and studied.”

What do you think of Sberbank offering cryptocurrency trading outside of Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


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US Financial Regulator Requests Crypto Trading Data From South Korea

US Financial Regulator Requests Crypto Trading Data From South Korea

The New York State Department of Financial Services has asked two South Korean financial authorities to share cryptocurrency-related data they obtained from their recent inspections of six major Korean banks.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

The US Wants South Korean Crypto Data

US Financial Regulator Requests Crypto Trading Data From South KoreaThe New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has asked South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to share the data obtained from their inspections of six major Korean banks, local media report. The NYDFS supervises banks, insurers, and financial institutions in the US. It is also responsible for issuing New York’s infamous Bitlicense since 2014.

US Financial Regulator Requests Crypto Trading Data From South KoreaThe South Korean FSS and FIU inspected Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank (KDB), and Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) between January 8 and 11, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. However, the authorities extended the inspection period to January 16. The purpose of the inspections was to ensure that banks fulfil their anti-money laundering (AML) obligations related to services they provide to cryptocurrency exchanges.

In addition to requesting results of the probes into the six banks, the NYDFS also “asked to see the banks’ internal regulations on cryptocurrency dealings,” Chosun reported and quoted a Korean government official saying:

There’s a lot of concern from foreign governments about the regulations being imposed on cryptocurrency trading…With the Korean government conducting on-site inspections and establishing guidelines, financial regulators in New York seem to be gathering information for research purposes.

Crypto Countermeasures & AML

The Korean government has been actively devising cryptocurrency countermeasures. Following the inspections of the six banks, the FIU created a set of anti-money laundering guidelines for banks to follow when dealing with cryptocurrencies. Concurrently, the regulators also published their countermeasures for cryptocurrency regulations which they promised back on December 28. Earlier this month, the government also mandated that crypto exchanges share their user data with banks under the new real-name account system.

US Financial Regulator Requests Crypto Trading Data From South Korea
Kim Yong-bum and Sigal Mandelker.

A Korean financial official was quoted by the Korea Times saying, “It seems like the whole world is wondering about our virtual currency countermeasures.”

According to Maekyung, on January 25, US Treasury Secretary Sigal Mandelker discussed how to strengthen anti-money laundering measures related to cryptocurrencies as well as international cooperation measures with Vice Chairman of the Korean Financial Service Commission (FSC), Kim Yong-bum. Mandelker said at a US Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Anti-Money Laundering Act:

We will actively crack down on any virtual currency exchange that does not have a money laundering safety net.

What do you think of the NYDFS asking South Korea for their Crypto trading data? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korea Ends Anonymous Cryptocurrency Trading Today

South Korea Ends Anonymous Cryptocurrency Trading Today

The new South Korean cryptocurrency account system has entered into force nationwide today, ending the current practice that allowed for anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies. Traders must open real-name accounts at the same banks as their exchanges in order to deposit money to trade cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Real-Name System Enforced

South Korea Ends Anonymous Cryptocurrency Trading TodaySouth Korea begins converting existing virtual cryptocurrency accounts to real-name accounts today as mandated by the government.

The implementation of this new account system effectively ends “the use of anonymous bank accounts in transactions to prevent virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other illegal activities,” Yonhap reported.

Six major banks in the country are participating in this new system so far: Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, and Gwangju Bank. The news outlet elaborated:

Opening cryptocurrency accounts has been banned for weeks while the banks have installed the system, which ensures only real-name bank accounts and matching accounts at cryptocurrency exchanges for deposits and withdrawals.

“Foreigners and underage investors are banned from opening cryptocurrency accounts in South Korea,” the publication noted, adding that “The new system also requires cryptocurrency exchanges to share users’ transaction data with banks.” Traders with existing virtual accounts will be fined if they keep depositing money into their existing accounts.

Business As Usual for Banks

South Korea Ends Anonymous Cryptocurrency Trading Today
Shinhan crypto flyer (Photo\Kim Hyung Min)

“The market forecasted that there will be a lot of requests for opening new accounts following the introduction of the real-name system,” Maekyung wrote. However, on the first day of introducing the real-name system, the news outlet noted that banks are seeing little changes from the previous year, adding that some customers may have opened accounts online.

An IBK official told the publication that “there is no big difference” in the number of customers opening accounts at the bank.

A Chosun reporter visited several banks and found no unusual traffic. At a Shinhan Bank branch, there was a “customer guide” with definitions of crypto-related terms. It also includes an anti-money laundering guideline.

Real Name Verification

South Korea Ends Anonymous Cryptocurrency Trading TodayKorea Business explains that “Real name verification is possible only if there is an account of the person’s name at the bank that the virtual currency trading company uses.”

To open a new bank account for trading cryptocurrencies, customers “must submit documents to the bank…such as payroll, utility bills, credit card payments,” the news outlet detailed.

Bithumb has been trading with Nonghyup Bank and Shinhan Bank, Upbit with Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), Coinone with Nonghyup Bank, and Korbit with Shinhan Bank. “Looking at the number of virtual accounts that are subject to the real-name system conversion, IBK has 570,000, Nonghyup Bank 1 million, and Shinhan Bank 140,000,” Hankyung reported.

Smaller Exchanges Could Suffer

Small and medium-sized cryptocurrency exchanges are expected to suffer from the conversion into the real-name system, local media report, citing that banks are reluctant to issue new accounts for them and they can no longer use existing corporate accounts.

The Korean Blockchain Association revealed that 10 companies out of its 25 crypto exchange members use corporate accounts in place of virtual accounts. They include Coinnest, Gopax, Coinlink, and Eyalabs, Maekyung reported. The publication quoted the association explaining, “Exchanges that have not been granted virtual accounts have fallen into the blind spot of regulation.”

What do you think of this new South Korean system? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Goldman Sachs CEO: ‘Bitcoin Trading Desk Rumors Are Not True’

Goldman Sachs CEO: 'Bitcoin Trading Desk Rumors Are Not True'

According to multiple reports back in October and December of last year, it was said that the financial institution Goldman Sachs had plans to create a bitcoin trading desk. Now a month later, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of the firm, says the reports are “not true” speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos this past Wednesday.

Also read: Championing Decentralized Exchanges, Now Might Be the Perfect Time for Bisq

Goldman Sachs CEO Denies Opening a Bitcoin Trading Desk

Goldman Sachs CEO: 'Bitcoin Trading Desk Rumors Are Not True'A while back in October, publications started rumors that the banking institution Goldman Sachs was planning to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk. Further, the story was bolstered even more so in December when the financial news outlet Bloomberg said Goldman would start the trading platform this coming June. According to those reports which cited sources “familiar with the matter” Goldman was “still trying to work out security issues as well as how it would hold, or custody, the assets.”

Moving forward to the 2018 World Economic Forum event held in Davos, Lloyd Blankfein explained to the press that the brokerage firm was not planning to open a digital asset trading desk and earlier reports were false.

“What we said was we were opening — We’re clearing futures in bitcoins for some of our futures clients — We’d clear them,” explains Blankfein.   

We’re a prime broker and so if our clients are going to do it, we’re going to do it — A principle bitcoin business where we’re going long and short, market making, so far we’re not.

‘Mad Money’ Host Says Investors Should Read Between the Lines of Lloyd Blankfein’s Bitcoin Statements

The host of the television broadcast, “Mad Money,” Jim Cramer believes that Blankfein’s statements did not completely dismiss bitcoin. Cramer explains on his recent show that “investors should read between the lines on Lloyd Blankfein’s bitcoin comments.”

“I think it was important to parse what Lloyd said,” Cramer reflects on the show. “[Blankfein] said customers who want to be involved with bitcoin we will do business with on some level.”

And he did say, ‘If clients want to do something in the futures with crypto, they are there for them.’

Bitcoin’s Rise Is Becoming ‘Uncomfortable’ for Financial Incumbents as the Boss of JP Morgan Says the Media ‘Should Go Back to Something Relevant’

Goldman Sachs CEO: 'Bitcoin Trading Desk Rumors Are Not True'
Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

Lloyd Blankfein has been asked about bitcoin many times in the past but even more so recently during the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise in value. Blankfein has stated before that he’s uncomfortable with bitcoin and believes the market might be overheated. In an interview with Kayla Tausche, Blankfein said: “Maybe bitcoin is a kind of a bubble — I don’t like it — I’m not comfortable with it.” Blankfein’s comments in Davos suggested that Goldman Sachs is willing to deal with digital currency investors.

The mainstream media has been very interested in what CEOs of large financial firms like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have to say about this emerging technology. Following the interview with Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of JP Morgan Jamie Dimon was also inundated by the press in Davos and asked to answer questions about bitcoin. Dimon who called bitcoin a “fraud” last year has been very vocal against the cryptocurrency.

“I’m not going to say any more about the digital currency,” Dimon explains this past Wednesday in Davos. Dimon clearly unimpressed with the media concludes:    

The media should go back to something relevant.

What do you think about Goldman Sach saying they are not launching a trading desk one month after publications reported on the story? Do you think the company really is interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Images via Goldman Sachs Tower, Logo, and Lloyd Blankfein at WEF.


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South Korea Releases Official Guidelines for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Banks

South Korea Releases Official Guidelines for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Banks

The South Korean government has officially released two sets of previously promised guidelines that specify cryptocurrency regulatory measures. In addition to details of the new real-name system to end anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies, the government also published its anti-money laundering guidelines for banks providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges.

Also read: Cryptocurrency Activities Will Be Legal and Tax Free in Belarus Starting in March

Implementation of Crypto Measures

On Tuesday, the South Korean government officially released a document containing the guidelines for cryptocurrency regulations it previously promised. The announcement was made by Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), Kim Yong-bum.

South Korea Releases Official Guidelines for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and Banks
The meeting where Kim Yong-bum announced cryptocurrency regulatory measures.

This document details the government’s Special Measures for the Elimination of Virtual Currency Speculation which was first announced on December 28. In addition, the government also announced on Tuesday its anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines, prepared by the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), an FSC division, for all banks dealing with cryptocurrency accounts to follow.

Converting to Real-Name System

A large part of the government’s special measures concern the new government-mandated real-name account system. This system will replace banks’ current practice of virtual account issuance. Virtual accounts are issued by banks for cryptocurrency exchanges’ customers to use to deposit and withdraw money.

South Korea Releases Official Guidelines for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and BanksOn January 30, the real-name system will be live for deposit and withdrawal services to cryptocurrency accounts. Existing virtual accounts will be converted to real-name ones at that time. Six major banks will implement the new system including Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Kookmin Bank, Hana Bank, and Gwangju Bank.

Customers need to open an account at the bank providing virtual account services to the exchange they are using. “New members should be added after strict identification procedures,” Kim was quoted by Joongang Ilbo. According to the document:

Users who do not have an account at the same bank as the virtual bank will not be able to make additional payments to the virtual bank [account], but they can withdraw money…Foreigner and minors under the Civil Law cannot use real name confirmation deposit and withdrawal account service.

AML and Suspicious Transaction Reporting

Earlier this month, the FIU and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) conducted on-site inspections of the country’s 6 major banks to ensure they have fulfilled their anti-money laundering obligations. The FIU subsequently created a set of anti-money laundering guidelines which was released on Tuesday.

South Korea Releases Official Guidelines for Cryptocurrency Exchanges and BanksCrypto exchanges usually separate their funds from users’ funds. However, the government’s inspections revealed that “some exchanges were found to have collected funds from users through general corporate accounts opened at banks,” the Kyunghyang Shinmun reported.

In some cases, customers’ funds were transferred to the bank accounts of the exchanges’ representatives. One exchange “collected funds from users through four bank accounts” into the company’s account “and spent 58.6 billion won” from it, the news outlet added. The financial authorities noted that this can lead to fraud and embezzlement.

The Hankook-Ilbo elaborated that banks are required to “monitor the exchanges [they service] for unusual transactions in accordance with the guidelines and, if suspected of money laundering, further confirm the transaction purpose and funding source,” adding that:

If the transaction amount is more than KRW 10 million per day, more than KRW 20 million for 7 days, or frequent transactions occur in a short time, it should be reported to the FIU, the money laundering monitoring authority. If the exchange has a high risk of money laundering or requires information, the bank may terminate the transaction.

What do you think of South Korea’s cryptocurrency guidelines? Let us know in the comments section below.


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South Korean Card Companies Block Transactions to Overseas Cryptocurrency Exchanges

South Korean Card Companies Block Transactions to Overseas Cryptocurrency Exchanges

South Korean card companies are reportedly working on blocking payments to overseas cryptocurrency exchanges. Currently, 20 major crypto exchanges are blocked but that number is expected to increase, according to the Korean Credit Finance Association.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Blocking Payments Overseas

South Korean Card Companies Block Transactions to Overseas Cryptocurrency ExchangesSouth Korean card companies have been working on blocking payments to overseas cryptocurrency exchanges, local media reported the Credit Finance Association of Korea revealing.

The association is a non-profit organization with 68 members: 8 credit card companies, 21 leasing companies, 21 installment financing companies, and 18 venture capital companies. An official of the association was quoted by Yonhap last week:

Credit [card] companies are voluntarily blocking payments to overseas virtual currency exchanges.

“We will continue to prevent transactions from being carried out if a foreign [cryptocurrency] exchange is registered as a merchant,” the news outlet further quoted the association.

8 Card Companies Onboard

South Korean Cards Block Transactions to Overseas Cryptocurrency ExchangesThe association explained that “eight domestic credit card companies are in the process of suspending credit / check card transactions so that they [users] cannot buy virtual currency at overseas virtual currency exchanges with domestic cards,” the publication noted.

There are exactly 8 members of the association that are card companies: BC Card, Hyundai Card, KB Kookmin Card, KEB Hana Card, Lotte Card, Samsung Card, Shinhan Card, and Woori Card.

Business Korea quoted the association on Monday:

Currently, only 20 major digital currency exchanges are blocked but we will confirm and share information about exchanges grasped by individual card issuers. An increasing number of exchanges will be continuously blocked in the future.

The news outlet also quoted industry sources clarifying, “Lotte Card and Shinhan Card have introduced systems blocking transactions by investors for the purchase of digital tokens from 20 overseas virtual currency exchanges using either debit or credit cards.” Woori Card reportedly did the same on January 18 while other card issuers, including Kookmin Card, are planning to complete the blockade by the end of this week.

However, the publication noted that there is a growing controversy over how effective this method to prevent investors from using overseas exchanges is, citing that “investors can purchase digital currencies through foreign simple payment systems, including Paypal.”

Last month, some Korean card companies discontinued their credit card points-to-cryptocurrency conversion services. Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card have discontinued their service to convert card points to bitcoin, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

What do you think of South Korean cards blocking payments of overseas cryptocurrency exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

South Korean banks have been providing virtual account services to cryptocurrency exchanges and earning commissions from them. According to data obtained by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, banks made 36 times more in commission income from crypto exchanges last year than the previous year.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Banks Earned 36x More From Crypto Accounts

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has obtained data from banks relating to their virtual account services to crypto exchanges. It includes data from the six banks inspected by the regulators last week: Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank, and Industrial Bank of Korea.

The agency revealed on Thursday that the total commission income banks earned from these services last year was 2.221 billion won (~USD$2.1 million), which is 36 times more than the 61 million won earned the previous year, Yonhap reported.

Upbit’s Bank Tops the List

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksBanks make money from cryptocurrency exchanges by charging them approximately 200 to 300 won per customer deposit, the news outlet detailed, adding that crypto traders pay higher commissions to the exchanges when withdrawing funds.

According to the FSS, the Industrial Bank of Korea earned the most from virtual account services last year. The bank provides these services to Upbit, which has recently become the world’s largest exchange by volume. Upbit is backed by Kakao Corp, the operator of South Korea’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk. The bank “earned a total of 675 million won by setting a virtual account fee of 300 won per deposit,” the publication conveyed.

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe bank with the second highest commission income from crypto-related services is Nonghyup Bank which provides virtual account services to Bithumb and Coinone. The bank earned 654 million won from these services last year.

Shinhan Bank provides virtual account services to a few crypto exchanges including Bithumb and Korbit, bringing it 621 million won last year. Kookmin Bank made 155 million won, the Korea Development Bank made 61 million won, and Woori Bank earned 59 million won from crypto exchanges last year.

Currently, the South Korean government has mandated banks to stop issuing new virtual accounts until they have installed the new a real-name identification system. Banks will also be required to check the purpose of trading and the source of funds for each crypto account holder.

What do you think about banks charging these fees for cryptocurrency accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.


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