SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea plans to require local banks to launch a real-name system for crypto currency trading that will require the up-to-now anonymous transactions be traceable as the country seeks to curb speculation and criminal activities.
Financial Services Commission Vice Chair Kim Yong-beom said at a press briefing Tuesday that the new measures, to take effect next week, will prevent foreigners residing outside South Korea who do not have local bank accounts and minors younger than 19 from buying or selling bitcoins and other digital currencies.
The moves follow warnings by South Korean authorities that they would ban anonymous trading in crypto currencies and crack down on speculative trading and possible crimes. Authorities are seeking to prevent use of crypto currency trading to engage in money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activities.
The new requirements are meant to ensure that a crypto currency investor’s money comes from a bank account owned by the same individual.
The new rules also call for banks to refuse to open accounts with crypto currency exchanges that do not disclose information about suspicious trading.
South Korea is home to some of the world’s largest crypto currency exchanges and a craze for bitcoin and other crypto currencies has swept the country.
The price of bitcoin was nearly flat at $10,767.08 as of 0420 GMT Tuesday. It gyrated wildly earlier this month, soaring and then sinking on concerns over now South Korea and other governments might handle the boom in crypto currency trading.