In a press release issued May 27, Bithumb confirmed that citizens of states comprising the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) initiative will no longer be able to use its services. The exchange is currently the fifth largest in the world by trade volume, according to Coinmarketcap data.
New account applications will be refused from Monday, while any extant accounts will disappear by June 21.
Explaining its decision, Bithumb said it was acting as part of “global anti money laundering efforts.”
“NCCT users will be prevented from using the exchange so that cryptocurrency is not used to fund international terrorism,” the press release added.
The NCCT involves countries that do not comply with AML standards set by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), a structure set up by the then G7 in the 1980s.
The jurisdictions Bithumb will target include Iran, Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Sri Lanka and Tunisia.
“We will strictly enforce our own rules and protect our investors, and we will actively cooperate with the authorities,” a Bithumb spokesman added.
South Korea’s exchanges have faced considerable regulatory compliance demands since late 2017. These have ranged from taxation to identity verification as authorities attempt to standardize and secure the cryptocurrency market as quickly as possible.
Bithumb also continues to propagate cryptocurrency usage at home, CryptoNewspeople reporting in April on its ongoing partnerships with major businesses to further acceptance.