Bithumb, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea and the fifth largest in the world, has announced a ban on virtual asset trading transactions of Sri Lankan residents along with 10 other countries, which were identified as having lenient policies in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In a recent press release, Bithumb stated that the ban was to reflect the recommendations of its government and the Korea Blockchain Association’s money laundering policy to counter cryptocurrency-associated money laundering and other illicit financial activities.
The remaining countries in the list are North Korea, Iran, Iraq Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Bithumb announced that the accounts of existing users from these countries will be disabled from June 21, while Bithumb wouldn’t accept new users from the specified countries.
During last G-20 financial meeting, the participating nations including South Korea decided to implement FATF on money laundering standards to virtual currencies as well.
Bithumb also announced that it will require the users, including mobile app users, to fully authenticate their identities and furnish proof of addresses.
The FATF has listed Sri Lanka along with eight other countries as ‘high risk and monitored jurisdictions’ that have taken insufficient measures to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial system.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy recently stated that Sri Lanka plans to move out of the list by October this year.
FATF noted that Sri Lankan government has made a high-level political commitment to work with the FATF and APG to strengthen the effectiveness of its anti-money laundering/countering terrorist finance (AML/CFT) regime and address any related technical deficiencies.
Reviewing Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing the action plan, FATF recently acknowledged that the country has taken steps to improve the effectiveness of AML/CFT regime.
However, FATF insisted that Sri Lanka has much to do by continuing its work on implementing its action plan to address deficiencies. FATF has given a time period until March 2019 for the implementation of the action plan.