Upbit and Bithumb, two of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges, are being investigated by the Southern district prosecutor’s office for alleged involvement in the digital assets of lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk. Officials are currently investigating whether Kim obtained insider information to purchase digital assets worth around $4.5m, and are attempting to identify their origin. As part of the investigation, prosecutors raided Upbit and Bithumb, seizing transaction records and other documents. With the exchanges comprising a substantial part of the country’s trading volume, the investigation could impact South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. The country has taken a cautious approach towards regulation in recent years, with new rules requiring all virtual asset providers to register with the Financial Services Commission and enforce anti-money-laundering regulations being introduced in February. Despite remaining a cryptocurrency hub, the government has pledged to clamp down on fraudulent activities including crypto-related scams and money laundering.
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