Bithumb, a Top-Tier Crypto Exchange, bans Accounts from 11 Countries

Bithumb has gone ahead and Banned Crypto trading in 11 Countries

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The 5th largest crypto exchange platform by trading volume will not accept account holders from 11 countries. In a bid to comply with global anti-money laundering laws, Bithumb will not accept new accounts from 11 countries.

According to a press release from Bithumb, the ban will come into effect from May 28 and is set to block citizens from non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCT).  Crypto investors from these countries will not be able to open accounts on Bithumb platform. Specifically, the countries that have been blocked are: Ethiopia, Iraq, Serbia, Iran, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Vanuatu, Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka.

As from May 28th, residents from NCCT countries will not be able to access services from Bithumb. Furthermore, accounts already created by citizens from NCCT countries will be taken down by June 21st.

Why the ban

Cryptocurrency is a new and developing industry which is generating billions of dollars through investments. But it also comes with a lot of challenges. One major challenge is its anonymity nature which can facilitate money laundering. It is this challenge that has made governments put in place strict regulations to help prevent money laundering. Besides governments, crypto exchange platforms have come up with different mechanism whose primary role is to prevent money laundering.

On the other hand, there is also the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCT) Initiative established by Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF). The initiative is in place to help in the fight against money laundering. FATF consists of countries from across the world which follow rules and regulations in place against money laundering. If a country is found to be lagging behind in implementing anti-money laundering laws, the FATF blacklists it. Additionally, the country is placed in the NCCT group. Once a country is in the NCCT group, the FATF goes ahead to warn its members against doing business with such countries.  Since its formation, the FATF has blacklisted several countries with others removed after showing signs of implementing anti-money laundering laws. However,it will be interesting to see whether trading will resume once some of these countries have been removed from the list.

Apart from Bithumb complying with global anti-money laundering laws, it is also enforcing its laws to prevent cryptocurrency from funding international terrorism. This comes after it was fined in 2017 for not protecting investor information,

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