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Bitcoin Exchange OKCoin Publishes Heightened AML Guidelines

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM

OKCoin, one of China’s so-called ‘Big Three’ bitcoin exchanges, has published new guidelines to adhere to AML requirements by regulators and authorities.

The announcement, published on its China-based and international websites, comes amid the ongoing withdrawal freeze of bitcoin and Litecoin enforced by Chinese exchanges due to regulatory pressure from the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.

The guidelines read nearly identical for Chinese and international users.

Roughly translated, the Chinese announcement begins:

Considering from the perspectives of national Anti-Money Laundering regulations and risk control, we have established a few suggestions and guidelines for you. These are purely for the purpose of boosting your trading experience and account security. They will not affect your funds and trades.

More specifically, the bitcoin exchange informs users that they could be subject to “enhanced due diligence’ once they reach a certain level of account balance. For international users, this stands at $10,000 over a lifetime USD deposit while no specifications are revealed for Chinese users.

OKCoin underlines video verification as an example of ‘enhanced due diligence’ methods.

‘Level 2 verification will require a copy of your passport, a copy of your ID /driving license, and additionally, a copy of your proof of residential address (e.g. bank statement, utility bill) issued within 3 months when needed,’ reads an excerpt from the new KYC procedures, asking customers to be prepared with the above-mentioned paperwork in front of a camera.

‘Video verification will require a device that has video recording function and access to the internet (e.g. cellphone, laptop, tablet). You will be required to show your legal documents in front of the camera,’ the notice added.

The other notable guideline informs users that single-signature wallet addresses created before today, starting with “1” and “L” for Bitcoin and Litecoin respectively, will stop functioning on April 23, 2017. Multi-signature addresses will not be affected.

Nearly 2 months ago to the day, OKCoin paused bitcoin and litecoin withdrawals to comply with ‘relevant national AML, payment and settlement of foreign exchange management and other financial laws and regulations.’ The withdrawal freeze, initially estimated to last a month, sent bitcoin prices crashing. The announcement followed January reports from China that pointed to a PBOC-led investigation into bitcoin exchanges finding ‘irregularities’.

While withdrawals were expected to resume in March, Chinese exchanges confirmed their postponement, only to be resumed after regulatory approval. After today’s announcement, Chinese users’ extended wait to retrieve their bitcoin and litecoin balances could be nearing its end.

Featured image from Shutterstock.