Bithumb bars users form Eleven Countries from using its services, cites AML

South Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Bithumb

South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced Sunday that it will ban trading activities in 11 different countries around the world. The measure will take effect from June 21st but new applications from affected countries were stopped on Monday.

The ban comes after the exchange revised its internal regulations to better comply with global anti-money laundering practices as regulatory bodies across the globe are tightening the strings on cryptocurrency trading. After implementation, the ban would likely affect its foreign clients which will have to undergo a stricter verification process to use its services.

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In the press statement, Bithumb says that it was keeping faith with international anti-money laundering norms by blocking all transactions of residents of countries considered as high-risk jurisdictions by to the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) blacklist. The exchange disclosed on its website that it “will cooperate with the government” and follow self-regulatory measures based on the policies introduced by the Korean Blockchain Association.

These eleven countries are nations listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international organization in charge of enforcing global monetary laws for not complying with international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other norms. The list includes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, and Yemen.

The Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) which the FATF regards as a region “with insufficient policies and regulations to restrict money laundering and the utilization of various forms of money to finance illegal operations.”

With this ban in place, new users from these countries will not be accepted in the platform and old accounts will be disabled on June the 21st. Bithumb also explained that starting from next month, membership requests from foreign users would have to go through a mobile verification process to tackle falsified personal information and residential address.


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