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8% of Anon Cryptocurrency Accounts Switch to Real-Names in South Korea, So Far

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:04 PM

A week after the South Korean government banned the anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies, under 10% of virtual bank accounts have reportedly converted to real-name accounts.

As reported earlier in January, South Korea moved to enforce its ban on anonymous bank accounts used in cryptocurrency trading on January 30. Regulators mandated that anonymous bank accounts could no longer be used by cryptocurrency adopters and traders to make deposits into their corresponding wallets at cryptocurrency exchanges.

The move effectively prevented anonymous traders from pouring in their Korean fiat currency, the won, into buying cryptocurrencies or cashing out their crypto holdings back into fiat. The ban would hold, unless the traders decided to comply with the new rules and attach their real-names with their bank a/c and their crypto exchange accounts or wallets.

Anonymous account holders can continue to buy or sell cryptocurrencies using their virtual accounts, but any new crypto purchases using fiat money or withdrawals in fiat will require complying with the new KYC-mandate.

Following news of the impending ban,  South Korean banks issuing new accounts for cryptocurrency transactions on the day of the ban. They included Shinhan, the country’s second-largest bank, which began supporting transactions from Bithumb and Korbit, two of the country’s largest domestic exchanges.

Now, a week after the anonymous trading ban came into effect, about 8% of virtual bank accounts for cryptocurrency trading at Shinhan Bank, NH Bank and the Industrial Bank of Korea have been converted to real-name accounts.

A total of 1.74 million virtual accounts for cryptocurrency trading exists between the three banks, Yonhap  reports. So far, a total of 143,300 accounts, 8.21% of the total, have been converted to identifiable real-name accounts.

The report suggests that a slide in cryptocurrency markets in recent weeks have kept traders from converting their virtual accounts to real-name accounts. This would also mean that a vast majority of traders – using these three banks – continue to keep their cryptocurrency holdings.

Meanwhile, weeks of speculation of a proposed ban on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges in Korea were firmly quelled after the country’s finance minister revealed the government had no intention of banning cryptocurrency exchanges.

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