Largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea Bithumb has banned trading of crypto coins in North Korea and 10 other countries.
Bithumb cited money laundering concerns as reason for taking the ban action against residents of the affected countries.
Apart from North Korea, other countries that won’t be able to use the cryptocurrency trading include Iran, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Bithumb made this known in an announcement on Monday, saying it’s complying with global anti-money laundering norms by blocking all transactions of residents in jurisdictions belonging to the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) blacklist.
The 11 NCCT countries are seen by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as nations that have taken insufficient measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial system.
The measure took effect on May 27, meaning Bithumb will no longer accept new users from the 11 nations listed by the NCCT initiative.
Existing users from those nations will also see their Bithumb accounts disabled from June 21.
Before June 21, existing users will be able to wire or sell their coins to avoid huge loss.
Data shows Bithumb is world’s fifth largest cryptocurrency exchange with over $400 million in tokens traded over a 24-hour period.
Bithumb and measures against anti-money laundering
The crypto exchange says it has taken measure to strengthened its own anti-money laundering policies.
This it has done by by implementing the recommendations of authorities from the South Korean government and the Korea Blockchain Association, a self-regulatory industry working group.
A spokesperson for Bithumb added:
“We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors while we actively cooperate with local authorities.”
For international users, Bithumb is in the process of mandating a mobile verification process to avoid any instances of falsification of user information.