Authorities Raid Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange

Avi Rosten
  • Authorities in Seoul have reportedly raided UPbit - the country's largest exchange
  • Police suspect the exchange has committed fraud

Reports have just been released that prosecutors in South Korea have today raided UPbit - the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country.

According to the report by CoinDesk Korea, investigators in Seoul from the Southern District’s Prosecutors Office - led by chief Jeong Daejeong - searched the head office of the exchange located in the capital’s Gangnam-gu district.

Although reports seem to conflict as to the precise nature of the fraud, it appears that police suspect UPbit has deceived investors with regard to their funds.

In a statement, the Prosecutor’s Office said:

"We have secured hard disks and accounting books through confiscation. Analysis is expected to take days. "

Southern District’s Prosecutors Office

Asked for comment, a UPbit representative declined to elaborate, saying that "At this time, I can not answer anything about this seizure."

Korean Regulation

This latest suspected fraud comes at a time of increased scrutiny in South Korea and Asia in general.

In January, South Korean regulators sent cryptocurrency prices tumbling after they announced a proposed ban on cryptocurrency trading after authorities raided the Bithumb and Coinone exchanges.

While the South Korean government has since backed off from such heavy-handed legislation, there has been no letup in their attempt to crackdown on fradulent activity - with the recent shutting down of a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme just one of the latest episodes to hit the news.

Incidents such as this latest suspected fraud again threaten the fine line governments have to tread between over-regulation and public protection.


Featured Image Credit: "Golden bitcoin and South Korea flag" by "Marco Verch" via Flickr; licensed under "CC BY 2.0"