South Korean Regulator Takes Aim At OTC Crypto Trading

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South Korean Regulator Takes Aim At OTC Crypto Trading
  • South Korea’s customs agency recently highlighted crypto trading’s role in illegal forex transactions.
  • The Financial Services Commission (FSC) has also taken note of OTC crypto trading’s role in financial crimes.
  • Unlawful forex transactions via crypto assets reached a whopping $4 billion last year.

Korea Customs Service, the customs regulator of South Korea, recently highlighted the role of crypto assets in financial crimes. The Customs Service was joined by the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), which pointed out over-the-counter (OTC) crypto trading’s role in illegal foreign exchange transactions.

According to a recent report by Asia Economy, the value of illegal forex transactions via crypto assets reached an estimated $4 billion in 2022. The growing concern about unlawful transactions in financial crimes has prompted South Korean regulators to take aim at OTC crypto trading in the 2023 third Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Criminal Law Academy, which was held earlier this month. 

The meeting, which was held under the theme “Legal Challenges in the Discipline of Virtual Assets”, was attended by South Korea’s Deputy Chief Prosecutor, the Director of the Capital Markets Department, and top officials from the Financial Services Commissions. The regulators reportedly agreed on the need for strong regulation of virtual currencies, especially OTC trading and depository businesses.

As of now, South Korea does not have specific laws to regulate OTC. Crypto operators in the country are currently not allowed to trade virtual currencies via OTC companies. However, individual traders cannot be sanctioned for illegal foreign exchange transactions via virtual currencies.

“The mention of virtual currency OTC this time is a challenge to discuss and think about the types of virtual currency crimes. We plan to continue to research and think about the investigation of illegal virtual currency OTC,” stated Gwangya Law Firm’s Ja-seon Ye.

South Korea categorizes transactions through uncertified crypto exchanges as virtual currency OTC. This includes leading centralized crypto exchanges like Upbit and Bithumb, which boast a combined daily trading volume of more than $1.4 billion.