SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading from Jan. 30, regulators said on Tuesday in a widely telegraphed move designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.
Local cryptocurrency traders will not be allowed to make deposits into their virtual currency exchange wallets unless the names on their bank accounts matches the account name in cryptocurrency exchanges, Kim Yong-beom, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission told a news conference in Seoul.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a string of warnings from global policymakers about cryptocurrency trading, including those from South Korea’s chief financial regulator last week who said the government may consider shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges.
The regulator has previously said it will come up with detailed guidelines for local banks to properly identify its clients by their real names in cryptocurrency transactions.
To make deposits into virtual coin wallets, cryptocurrency traders will need to identify themselves with their real names at the exchange and have those matched with information at local banks by Jan. 30.
According to Bithumb, the country’s second-largest virtual currency exchange, the bitcoin price in South Korea was down 4.35 percent at $12,567 (8,987.34 pounds) from previous day as of 0214 GMT on Tuesday.
Bitcoin is trading up 3.7 percent at $10,750 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.
Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes