Skyline view of Seoul, South Korea at sunset

Product image courtesy of ESB Professional/Shutterstock

According to a report on CNBC, in the first half of 2018, a big amount of cryptocurrency was stolen — around the worth of $1.1 billion to be specific — and according to a cyber security company called Carbon Black, it’s an easy-peasy thing to do which is unfortunate for owners.

“It’s surprising just how easy it is without any tech skill to commit cybercrimes like ransomware… It’s not always these large nefarious groups, it’s in anybody’s hands.” says Rick McElroy, Carbon Black Security strategist

Additionally, AMBCrypto stated in its article that even with some built-in checks, cyber terrorists, and lawbreakers have been able to undermine the technology directing the crypto market and launder money for their criminal activities.

Multiple crypto exchanges were affected by cryptocurrency thefts, companies including Geth, Coinrail, Bitcoin Gold, Zaif, Taylor, Bancor and South Korea-based Bithumb, each lost millions of dollars worth of crypto based on the report made by CipherTrace, one of the world’s leading platforms for Bitcoin and crypto analysis.

Presumably, unfortunate events like this in the crypto-world lead to the partnership between major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea to strive against plots that might harm users, especially money laundering.

An article on CryptoNinjas stated that, these four large crypto exchanges — namely Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Upbit — announced last Friday a shared initiative to increase AML of anti-money laundering efforts and promote a healthier trading environment.

An article on South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency revealed that an official of an operator said:

“They are now able to instantly check any wrongful transactions made at other exchanges and take necessary measures, such as blocking their own related accounts. The cooperative step against money laundering via cryptocurrencies is expected to boost the soundness of the industry and to better protect consumers.”

Based on a report on Coindesk, the exchanges said they will make a direct line for real-time wallet info to be shared on sketchy crypto trades with an intent to distinguish trades with suspected links to predatory lending, phishing, Ponzi schemes and other illicit doings and share related information through the direct line.

The partners will also set off a database of suspicious wallet addresses that is shared, and therefore would be capable of helping them to point out and stop scammers hoping to use different exchanges to transfer a big amount of crypto to the same wallet, as an example.

They are aiming to motivate other crypto exchanges to be a part of the movement.

A month after CoinDesk Korea organized a forum with the country’s lawmakers, the news came out. The conference was about the initiatives on know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML). A report by Cointelegraph mentioned that seven out of 21 local crypto exchanges have received approval from the South Korean government after a security audit.

Will this initiative taken by the four South Korea exchanges be a wake-up call to everyone and, hopefully, a first effective step in making sure of the protection and safety of crypto and trading? What should be added to make KYC and AML initiatives more successful? Share with us your thoughts on the comment section below!