South Korea to block 16 unregistered crypto companies

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU) has requested authorities to block 16 unregistered foreign-based Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that allegedly target domestic consumers by offering services in Korean.

KoFIU said that the 16 VASPs were operating businesses targeting Koreans without the required registration despite being notified to register with the authority in July 2021.

The 16 VASPs under investigation are said to be CoinW, MEXC, Bitglobal, BTCEX, Phemex, KuCoin, Bitrue,, CoinEX, AAX, ZoomEX, Poloniex, BTCC,, Pionex and DigiFinex.

The request made by KoFIU was sent to the Korea Communications Commission and the Korea Communications Standards Commission to block domestic access to the websites of the unregistered VASPs.

Following administrative guidance, transfers of virtual assets to and from the unregistered VASPs will also be blocked, suspending transactions between the registered and unregistered organizations.

Alongside this, credit card companies will also inspect and block virtual asset purchases and payment services.

According to KoFIU illegal business activities made by unregistered companies can be subject to a punishment of either a fine of up to KRW50m ($37,408.93) or five years imprisonment.

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Written by Isabella Aslam


Isabella is an experienced writer in B2B and B2C journalism. Alongside crypto, Isabella writes and discusses the topics of relationships and psychology. Isabella holds a first-class degree in music journalism and often interviews electronic artists and DJs.

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