S. Korean banks to introduce real-name cryptocurrency trading this month

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-01-23 09:37 Updated : 2018-01-23 09:37
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[Yonhap Photo]


SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Aju News) -- Under pressure from financial regulators, South Korean banks are set to implement a new system at the end of this month that would allow only real-name bank accounts used for deposits and withdrawals in cryptocurrency trading.

Six key lenders including Shinhan plan to introduce the real-name system simultaneously on January 30, according to financial and cryptocurrency exchange officials. They said banks would have to maintain transaction records that could be used for taxation later.
 
A customer identification system would be applied, asking clients to disclose names, addresses, contact numbers, transaction purposes and the source of funds.

Cryptocurrency has been a daily hot topic among government officials, politicians and ordinary citizens since Justice Minister Park Sang-ki proposed a
a ban on trading that triggered a strong backlash from investors, confusion, panic selling and widespread debate.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon described the shutdown of virtual currency exchanges as "a viable option" and said taxes could be levied on cryptocurrency trading.

Financial Services Commission (FSC) chairman Choi Jong-ku threatened to close virtual accounts provided by six banks to cryptocurrency exchanges if they are found to have violated rules related to money laundering. The six lenders include Woori, Kookmin, Shinhan, NongHyup, the Industrial Bank of Korea and the Korea Development Bank.

Choi said strong steps are needed to prevent the "serious" side effects of irrational and excessive speculative investments as South Korea has become a hotbed for abnormal trading, referring to the so-called Kimchi premium in the domestic digital money market.