Prosecutors Raid Upbit, South Korea’s Largest Cryptocurrency ExchangeMay 11, 2018 9:21 pm
Authorities searched the offices of the exchange on Thursday into Friday, according to an official from the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office.
The raid was first reported by the Korea Economic Daily.
“Upbit is currently under investigation by prosecutors and is cooperating,” the report said, also posting a notice to clients that transactions and withdrawals were unaffected and all client assets were safe.
The exchange hosted almost $1.6 billion in cryptocurrency trades over the past day, making it the largest in Korea and the fourth-largest exchange in the world, according to Coinmarketcap.com.
South Korean officials have been cracking down on the growing crypto-industry in order to fight illegal activities such as money laundering in part of a push from governments around the world to have more regulation on the digital currency industry.
Several raids on smaller cryptocurrency companies have occurred in South Korea this year after the company outlawed initial coin offerings and banned minors, foreigners, and financial institutions from using domestic exchanges.
South Korea and Japan were two of the main jumping off points for the crypto-boom in the past year, with volume reaching historic levels after Bitcoin and other tokens were gaining high premiums in the country compared to international markets.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon warned that cryptocurrencies could be corrupting the nation’s youth after the industry exploded and launched a widespread tightening of restrictions which has sent trading activity and prices steadily falling.
–WN.com, Maureen Foody