Friday, 22 June, 2018

South Korea's largest crypto exchange faces fraud investigation

World’s 4th Largest Crypto Exchange Raided over Fraud Charges Market Goes Deep Red Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit Raided Amid Suspicions of Fraud
Preston Stone | 12 May, 2018, 16:11

Bitcoin tumbled as South Korea's largest digital-currency exchange came under investigation by local authorities, the latest in an expanding crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

The exchange's notice to clients reads: "UPbit is now under investigation by prosecutors and is cooperating". As at press time law enforcement remains at the exchange and have seized hard drives and accounting records.

The state of the markets today is dismal, it's not something we expected to see so soon to say the least.

UpBit is said to have transferred customer funds from their accounts to an "executive" account, according to local paper Chosun.

The company partnered with Bittrex, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to launch Upbit past year. Much to our surprise, reports of alleged fraud are now being investigated by local police, and news outlets such as Chosun have been among the first to cover the story.

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South Korea has been cracking down on the crypto industry to combat excessive speculation and illegal activities. The company added that services such as transactions and withdrawals were unaffected and client assets were safe.

South Korean officials have intensified their scrutiny of the country's cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months. "Your assets are kept securely in your account, so you can rest assured that you can use UPbit services".

"The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation", Choe Heung-sik, chief of FSS, the agency responsible for this investigation against Upbit, told reporters in February this year. The CEO of one of those platforms, Coinnest, was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and fraud as a result of the inquiry into that exchange's operations. Most of the coins in the top 100 are seeing double-digit percentage losses, a lot of the top ten are nearing the 20% loss mark.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) have been investigating domestic crypto exchanges since March, according to Yonhap News.

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