South Korea is planning to block foreign cryptocurrency exchanges operating without proper registration. It will probe such companies soon. The intelligence wing of its financial service commission identified 16 overseas crypto companies and reported them to the investigative body. It asked the other departments to block the local websites of those companies. These details were released in a statement it issued on Thursday.
This report lists companies such as KuCoin, XT.com, Phemex, MEXC, Bitglobal, Bitrue, ZB.com, CoinEX, CoinW, ZoomEX, BTCEX, Poloniex, AAX, BTCC, Pionex, and DigiFinex. Officials plan to report the violations committed by these companies to their respective countries. They plan to restrict the access of these companies to the local market if they do not obtain the required permits within the given time.
The statement said, those operating unregistered businesses face the prospects of prison terms and fines that can go up to 50M won ($37,900). Such companies will be prevented from registering any new company for some time.
Authorities in South Korea had last year stipulated that cryptocurrency platforms must obtain certification from Information Security System. Almost half of crypto exchange operators stopped their operations after that announcement. Presently, 35 virtual assets service companies are registered and allowed to operate. The list includes Korbit, Upbit, Coinone, Bithumb, and Gopax. These five exchanges accounted for over 99% of the country’s crypto market share.
Many countries have tightened their scrutiny of crypto companies after this year’s crashes that saw many crypto companies failing and closing. These crashes caused losses of $40B in South Korea.