South Korea’s largest digital-currency exchange, UPbit came under investigation by local authorities, the latest in an expanding crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Investigators from the Prosecutors’ Office of the southern district of the country’s capital firstly appeared at the head office of the exchange on May 10. The investigations are still being conducted.
UPbit is a cryptocurrency exchange that is managed by a subsidiary of Korean tech giant Kakao. The cryptocurrency exchange is considered to be the world’s fourth largest and the Korean first largest exchange by its 24-hour trade volume. The cryptocurrency exchange said it was “fully cooperating” with the authorities and added that customers could still execute trades and access their funds.
According to some sources close to the deal, UPbit is suspected of having faked its balance sheets and deceived investors. That’s why 10 investigators were sent to the exchange’s head offices to get access to the computer system of the company with a view to audit its digital currency holdings. The prosecutors were quoted saying.
“After the digital forensics investigation on the seizures [seized items] and confirming the illegal charges, we will decide whether and in what direction we will investigate further,”
News of the raid rattled the crypto markets and sent bitcoin to a three-week low. Bitcoin was trading below $8,600 on Friday, down from $9,093.17 late Thursday afternoon.
Due to some anti-money laundering compliance concerns, a number of cryptocurrency exchange and their corporate accounts in Korean banks have been investigated by the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit and the Financial Services Commission.
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