Bithumb to restrict foreign accounts without KYC

The exchange platform has asked all users who may be affected to withdraw their funds.

Leading Korean crypto exchange platform Bithumb has informed its non-Korean user community that they will be denied access to the platform unless they complete a mobile-based identity verification process.

According to local media outlet Pulse News, Bithumb is taking this step to comply with Korea’s strict new anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

The Know Your Customer (KYC) notice applies to all Korea-based foreign users registered on the Bithumb exchange.

According to Pulse, the new KYC requirement is expected to come into effect later this year. However, the exchange platform has not communicated exactly when it intends to start enforcing the ban.

Bithumb’s drastic action follows the introduction of stricter anti-money laundering requirements by Korean authorities. It also follows the exchange’s notification to users that there would be no registration of foreigners without proper documentation.

The Korea Herald notes in an article on the development that Bithumb has recently restricted accounts with IP addresses from “high-risk jurisdictions.” The news site also reports that the crypto-currency exchange’s actions are aimed at user accounts created from countries considered to warrant close monitoring by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The exchange has, however, asked users in the targeted group to start withdrawing their assets if they have trouble completing KYC verification. According to Bithumb, affected users are free to move their digital assets at any time before the country’s mandatory requirements take effect a little later this year.

Bithumb recently teamed up with Coinone and Korbit, two other major Korean-based crypto-currency exchange companies, to launch an initiative to implement a “traffic rule” for FATCA.

The initiative, announced on August 31, will see the three exchange platforms make individual and joint efforts to comply with anti-money laundering requirements.