Data from the South Korean government reportedly shows that over the last two years cryptocurrency-related crimes caused a total of 2.69 trillion won ($2.3 trillion) in damages.
According to The Korea Herald, the country’s Justice Ministry has revealed that between July of 2017 and June of this year, financial loss caused by scams and fraud related to the cryptocurrency space cost billions.
Per the news outlet, the Ministry added that 132 criminals and fraudsters operating in the cryptocurrency space were indicted and detained in said period, while 288 were indicted without being physically detained.
South Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki reportedly tried to implement measures that would help deter cryptocurrency criminals, which are said to have been more active despite South Korea’s interest in trading cryptocurrencies declining.
Earlier this year, the country launched a task force to fight cryptocurrency-related crimes.
— CryptoGlobe (@CryptoGlobeInfo) March 8, 2019
While The Korea Herald reports interest in trading cryptos is waning in the country, the number of cryptocurrency exchanges has been on the rise. The news outlet reports that as of May there were 205 crypto exchanges in the country, with some using “opaque accounts.”
These accounts, it adds, are known as “beehive accounts” and help lure investors, as they help South Korean traders circumvent a real-name trading system implemented in the country in January of last year, in an attempt to stop cryptocurrencies from being used to launder funds by allowing exchanges to “manage investors’ money with their corporate bank accounts.”
The South Korean government is said to have proposed guidelines to counter these accounts, although a court ruled it would be inappropriate to order cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to stop using their corporate accounts.
Various cryptocurrency exchanges have over the last two years been hacked. CryptoGlobe covered that the country’s biggest exchange, Bithumb, was hacked for $31.5 million in June of last year. It was again hacked in March of this year, when 3 million EOS were transferred out of its hot wallet.