Bithumb to Shut Services in 11 Countries

Bithumb to Shut Services in 11 Countries

By Benson Toti - min read
Updated 21 March 2023

Users in 11 countries will no longer access Bithumb over money laundering concerns, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange has announced.

The 11 countries are listed under the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) for failing to implement measures aimed at preventing money-laundering.

In a press release, Bithumb says the move was part of its contributing to global anti-money laundering efforts. Bithumb also said it will comply and revise the Regulations on the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.”

Countries in the list of banned countries include North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Tunisia, Yemen Syria, Sri Lanka, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraq. Users in these countries will have their accounts deactivated starting June 21, the company said.

We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors while we actively cooperate with local authorities,” a company representative said.

NCCT is an initiative of the Financial Action Task Force to that identifies countries that have taken inadequate measures to prevent threats to the financial system including money laundering and terrorism financing.

Strict Regulations

South Korea has some of the strictest cryptocurrency regulations in the world. Exchanges are supposed to implement strong anti-money laundering and AML measures to operate. One of the rules require same name bank accounts.

Bithumb incorporates the rules as well as those from the Korea Blockchain Association. The regulations were put in place after the cryptocurrency mania gripped the country towards the end of 2017. The strong interest is yet to die down and bitcoin still trades at a premium in the Asian nation.

Bithumb is one of the largest exchanges worldwide ranking fifth in terms of 24 hour volumes. According to CoinMarketCap, about $489.5 million were transacted on the exchanged in the last 24 hours.

The EOS/KRW is the most traded pair with 224 million worth of transactions in the last 24 hours. Tron is the second most traded cryptocurrency while bitcoin comes third at $46 million in the same time period.