South Korea is set to toughen its control over the crypto-market following an break into the Bithumb exchange. The government intends to implement the regulatory framework for the industry as soon as possible, according to various sources.
In case of a successful adoption of the bill, the activity of crypto exchanges will be regulated by the same rules as commercial banks. For several months, the South Korean government and local financial agencies have been looking for ways to improve the infrastructure for the cryptocurrency market. However, with the recent attacks on Coinrail and Bithumb, on which Insider.pro has reported, the authorities have stepped up their efforts.
“Under current regulations, there are clear limitations in preventing money laundering on crypto exchanges because the only way authorities can spot suspicious transactions is through banks. If the bill of lawmaker Jae Yoon-kyung from the Democratic Party of Korea passes, local authorities will be able to impose identical regulations on crypto exchanges that are implemented on commercial banks,” the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU) spokesperson said previously.
KFIU and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) are working jointly on creating a standard for crypto exchanges that would be identical to those adopted by other financial institutions. At the same time, special attention is paid to protecting investors and preventing large-scale cyber attacks.
Now, South Korean authorities are governing local digital assets exchanges by the same laws as the communication service providers. This means that anyone can create their own exchange platform by paying only a $30 fee. Also, local officials believe that ignoring the need for crypto-exchange regulations, has hindered the development of the industry over the past year.
And in that regard, yesterday's attack on Bithumb seems to have broken the camel’s back. One of the largest crypto exchanges in South Korea has reported to have suffered a cyber attack, as the result of which $31 million was stolen. Bithumb however isn’t disclosing the exact amount of crypto that’s missing but South Korean authorities are investigating the matter.
By Ekaterina Ulyanova