South Korea’s financial watchdog has set a deadline banning anonymous digital currency trading accounts in the country.
According to a news report, six South Korean banks will start issuing new trading accounts for cryptocurrencies from the 30 January. This means that investors within the country who wish to continue trading will be required to have real-name bank accounts. The new system will also see digital currency exchanges sharing users’ transaction data with banks.
In addition to the banning of anonymous accounts, foreigners and underage investors will also be excluded from opening digital currency accounts in South Korea.
Six banks are involved, including Shinhan Bank, NH Bank, and the Industrial Bank of Korea.
According to Kim Yong-beom, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), existing anonymous accounts will be banned the same day that the banks introduce the new verification system.
Nobody, including the government, guarantees the value of cryptocurrencies. Given its highly volatile nature, please be cautious when making investment decisions.
The digital currency market has been experiencing rapid growth in South Korea among investors; however, with the cryptocurrency exchanges unregulated in the country there is no way to protect investors if the market should the currency drop in value.
This latest measure is part of the South Korean government’s attempt to curb speculation in the market, amid growing fears that the currency is in a bubble waiting to burst.
Bithumb, one of the nation’s three largest cryptocurrency exchanges, welcomed the government’s new approach and said that it will work with its new policy:
We will make efforts to build a more transparent and healthy transaction system with the real-name trading platform.
This announcement comes on the tail of South Korea’s government announcing that it is planning to tax digital currency exchanges. Those who had an annual income of more than 20 billion won ($18.7 million) last year face the possibility of having to pay 22 percent corporate and 2.2 percent local income tax this year.
Bithumb is expected to pay 60 billion won in corporate and local income taxes after it generated roughly 317.6 billion won last year.
Regardless of these measures, an official told the Telegraph that the government is still considering an outright ban.
India, too, is taking measures to curb frenzy that has been seen in the crypto industry. Some of the country’s biggest banks including Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and ICICI have frozen all, but a few digital currency accounts.