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South Korea Exchange Bans Families of Staff From Trading Crypto 

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • South Korean exchange Upbit has put trading restrictions on the staff and their families.
  • The step comes in an effort to improve ethical management in the crypto market.
  • Executives and workers at Dunamu are allowed to trade at other exchanges but with limits.
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Dunamu, the South Korean company that runs Upbit exchange, has extended trading prohibitions to the relatives of its executives and employees.

Local media reported on Tuesday that the step comes in an effort to improve ethical management in the crypto market.

“We came to strengthen the regulation since Aug. to be commensurate with our status as the most trusted digital asset exchange that meets global standards,” a spokesperson for Dunamu told the Korea Times.

More Checks in Place for the Sector

Sources to the media outlet claim that the step has been in effect since Aug. While the rule only applied to the staff earlier, Dunamu has now reportedly expanded the prohibition to include families. The company wishes to fulfill its social responsibility like traditional markets.

The top 12 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization are the only ones permitted to trade on other exchanges. Furthermore, their annual purchase of the coins is limited to 100 million won (approximately $75,000). Additionally, they must report their trading every quarter.

South Korea Goes Through Regulatory Overhaul

In Sept. 2021, the government reportedly updated the law to limit cryptocurrency trading. Cryptocurrency enterprises, their leaders, and their personnel have to follow the rules to stop price manipulation. This came after the governor of the South Korea Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), Lee Bok-hyun, indicated that virtual assets could form part of the country’s capital markets law.

Failure to comply with the rule could result in a fine of 100 million won (around $75,000) or the suspension of operations. Last month, the South Korean financial watchdog also advised caution when permitting domestic enterprises to enter the cryptocurrency industry.

In the meantime, a 20% capital gains tax will be imposed on cryptocurrency gains under the country’s new cryptocurrency tax system. The regime might go into force in 2025.

Korean Crypto Exchanges Take the Lead

Recently, the Upbit operator also recognized a “knowledge asymmetry” issue in the digital assets markets. Hence, Dunamu’s Upbit Investor Protection Center is reportedly creating a “digital asset guidebook” to promote ethical investment practices.

As per media reports, the operator has decided to translate the white papers and business strategies of significant corporations in the digital asset industry for Korean investors. It will also produce Korean translations of international legislation and administrative directives for the users. 

Notably, on Nov. 21, Dunamu also had its inaugural meeting of the environment, social, and governance (ESG) management committee.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Digital Asset Exchange Association (DAXA), formed by Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax, announced the delisting of Wemix tokens.

While the step is based on “inaccurate” filings, there is an absence of a legal framework. Hence, financial authorities will reportedly evaluate the requirements for delisting coins at domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. 

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Shraddha Sharma
Shraddha is an India-based journalist who worked in business and financial news before diving into the crypto space. As an investment enthusiast, she has also has a keen interest in understanding crypto from a personal finance standpoint.
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