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South Korea moves to regulate cryptocurrencies

South Korea's Financial Services Commission plans to tighten rules related to cyptocurrencies as part of a clampdown on cryptocurrency abuse.

The regulator will strengthen regulation of suspicious transactions reporting by banks and will also seek to change related laws to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges with investor protection, trading transparency and anti-money laundering requirements, according to a Dec. 15 statement. It also plans to set clear rules outlawing initial coin offerings and lending by cryptocurrency exchanges.

This follows a Dec. 13 announcement that financial institutions in the country are prohibited from holding and buying cryptocurrencies, holding a lien on cyptocurrencies and holding an equity stake in a cryptocurrency-related company, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

Further, banks will be required to run account holder authentication checks on money transactions for cryptocurrency trading. Minors and nonresidents will not be allowed to open new bank accounts for cryptocurrency trading purposes.