Blockchain Experts Tell Congress How Crypto Tech Can Combat the Flow of Counterfeit Goods

Leveraging blockchain technology can help improve supply chain management and shipping as well as help protect United States companies from pirated products shipped from other countries which are causing unfair competition and disrupting markets. This claim emerged from presentations and testimonies from experts who spoke at the Congressional hearing of the United States Subcommittee on … Continued

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23 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea to Self-Regulate, 10 Opt-Out

23 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea to Self-Regulate, 10 Opt-Out

The need for cryptocurrency self-regulation in South Korea is rising as banks still refuse to issue new virtual accounts for most crypto exchanges. The Korean Blockchain Association is preparing self-regulatory standards. Thirty-three exchanges were asked to undergo a review; twenty-three agreed but ten refused, according to local media.

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

23 Exchanges to Self-Regulate

23 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea to Self-Regulate, 10 Opt-OutThe Korean Blockchain Association is preparing a self-regulatory review of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country as well as launching standards for self-regulation. Jeon Jae-jin, chairman of the association’s self-regulation committee, was quoted by Seoul Finance explaining, “We will focus on establishing the safety and transparency of the exchanges.”

“The association predicted [that the] self-regulatory review will be smooth,” the news outlet noted, adding that thirty-three member exchanges were asked by the association to undergo a self-regulatory review. Twenty-three of them agreed; the remaining ten refused and were cast out of the association. Among them was Coinnest, whose CEO was recently arrested.

According to the publication, the member exchanges at the time of this writing are Glosfer, Nexcoin, Neoframe, Upbit, Bithumb, Gopax, Coinlink, Scoin, Okcoin Korea, Whalex, Zeniex, Kairex, Kcx Exchange, Komid, Korbit, Coinone, Coinzest, Coinplug, Crypto Company, Dexko, Korea Encryption, Money Exchange, and Huobi Korea.

Fair Trade Commission’s Suggestions

23 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea to Self-Regulate, 10 Opt-OutThe association revealed that it is working with a law office to develop the standards for crypto exchanges, Zdnet Korea reported, adding that they are expected to be “released in a few weeks.”

The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), which recently ordered twelve crypto exchanges to revise their consumer contracts, has also provided recommendations for the standards. The agency says they should “contain a wide range of disclaimers, restrictions on unauthorized deposits and withdrawals, restrictions on the arbitrary use of services, and corrective clauses on identity and password management,” the publication detailed, adding that:

The association plans to incorporate the [K]FTC’s recommendations in the development of the standard terms and conditions.

The exchanges that agree to a review “will be checked for compliance with the self-regulation set by the association, focusing on security, coin listing procedures, capital and other investor protection.”

New Account Issuance Needed

Since the implementation of the real-name system at the end of January by the South Korean government, small and medium-sized crypto exchanges were unable to open new virtual accounts. Banks have opted to only open them for the country’s biggest crypto exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit.

“The exchanges expect that this self-regulatory review will be an opportunity to demonstrate the stability of the exchanges,” Seoul Finance wrote and quoted an official of the association:

Since our affiliates actively cooperate in creating a healthy market, we expect [this action] to lead to new account issuance and market activation.

The results of this self-regulatory review are expected to be announced at the end of this month. With self-regulatory compliance, the association and affiliated exchanges plan to request banks to issue new virtual accounts for small and medium-sized exchanges again, the publication conveyed.

What do you think of 23 crypto exchanges opting-in to self-regulation while 10 refused? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the KFTC.


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35 Countries, EU and FATF Agree to Revise Global Cryptocurrency Standards

35 Countries, EU and FATF Agree to Revise Global Cryptocurrency Standards

Thirty-five countries and the European Commission have asked the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), responsible for setting global anti-money laundering (AML) policies, to revise its standards relating to cryptocurrencies. The organization promised to present its revised AML countermeasures for cryptocurrencies at the upcoming G20 meeting of finance ministers.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

35 Nations and EU Want Better Crypto AML Policies

35 Countries, EU and FATF Agree to Revise Global Cryptocurrency StandardsAt the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in Paris, held between February 18 and 23, members representing 35 countries and two organizations “urged the global body to improve the understanding of money laundering risks relating to cryptocurrencies,” Yonhap reported.

Established in 1989, the FATF is an inter-governmental body whose objectives are to set standards and promote effective implementation of measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats, its website describes.

The FATF currently comprises 35 member jurisdictions and two regional organizations. Member countries include China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The two organizations are the European Commission and the Gulf Co-operation Council.

35 Countries, EU and FATF Agree to Revise Global Cryptocurrency Standards
FATF meeting.

At the meeting last week, “Member countries were worried that the anonymity and money laundering risks of cryptocurrency transactions had grown with electronic wallets” and mixing services that hid the identity of their owners, Sedaily described. The Hankyoreh elaborated:

The FATF discussed the need to revise its own international standards…along with the revision of the virtual currency guideline created in June 2015, and agreed to report the response to the G20 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in March.

In addition, China was elected as the next vice-chairman at the meeting, effective from July 2019 to June 2020, the publication noted.

Korea – First to Draw Up AML Guidelines

35 Countries, EU and FATF Agree to Revise Global Cryptocurrency StandardsDuring the meeting, South Korea briefed the FATF on “its obligations related to cryptocurrency transactions to tackle money laundering,” Korean officials said on Monday.

The country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in a statement that “South Korea’s anti-money laundering guidelines for cryptocurrency trading were the first to be drawn up” among the FATF members, the news outlet wrote.

South Korea has banned anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies and introduced the real-name system which went into effect on January 30. The country’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) also published anti-money laundering guidelines for financial institutions. They are required to properly verify their customers, Yonhap detailed, adding that they are also obligated 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.”

What do you think of these countries asking the FATF to revise the global anti-anti-money laundering standards? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and FATF.


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South Korean Prime Minister Imposes Crypto Code of Conduct on Government Officials

South Korean Prime Minister Imposes Crypto Code of Conduct on Government Officials

The South Korean prime minister has ordered a new code of conduct to be prepared and implemented specifically to address the actions of government employees regarding cryptocurrency regulations. This follows the recent case of possible insider trading which is being investigated.

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

Prime Minister Orders New Code of Conduct

South Korean Prime Minister Imposes Crypto Code of Conduct on Government Officials
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon.

The South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon made an announcement on Tuesday following criticisms regarding the government’s handling of cryptocurrency regulation.

Lee noted that the public is angry because an “employee who worked in the virtual currency countermeasures department was found to have earned profits from virtual currency transactions,” Yonhap described. Citing that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is still investigating the issue, Lee emphasized, “The legal nature of virtual currency has not yet been defined, but the people are angry.”

Subsequently, he “ordered the Human Resources Innovation and Citizens’ Rights Commission to prepare and implement the principles and standards that each institution should follow,” Sedaily explained. Yonhap then quoted him saying:

Each agency should take necessary measures, such as supplementing the code of conduct for employees in charge of virtual currency issues.

South Korean Prime Minister Imposes Crypto Code of Conduct on Government OfficialsHowever, an FSC official revealed that it is “difficult to apply the Capital Market Law or the National Public Service Act” to the insider trading case since “virtual currencies are not financial products prescribed by law,” Dong-A Ilbo reported.

Earlier this month, the FSC, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) advised their employees to refrain from trading cryptocurrencies during work hours, Yonhap noted.

Better Coordination Needed

South Korean Prime Minister Imposes Crypto Code of Conduct on Government OfficialsThe prime minister also emphasized the need for better coordination among ministries, citing the recent confusion when the Ministry of Justice independently announced a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending panic across global cryptocurrency markets. However, the FSC soon made its own announcement stating that the matter has not been discussed and the bill is strictly the initiative of the Ministry of Justice alone.

Lee said last week that “that the government’s position on virtual currency remains unchanged, but the opinions of government ministries may differ,” Asia Economy wrote. Yonhap quoted him reiterating that the final government position will be announced after an inter-ministerial coordination, noting that:

As each ministry pursues a policy, it is necessary to adjust in advance the matters that need to be reconciled between the ministries.

What do you think of the Prime Minister’s response? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Korean government.


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