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South Korea’s Shinhan Bank to introduce ‘special measures’ for monitoring accounts linked to crypto exchanges

Benson Toti

Shinhan Bank, one of the biggest lenders in South Korea, is planning to ramp up its efforts to monitor accounts linked to cryptocurrency exchange, industry website Cointelegraph has reported, citing information from the local press.

According to a July 1 report from South Korean media outlet BEI News, the bank is considering implementing “special measures”, which would involve dedicating staff to analysing account transactions. Shinhan is also aiming to launch an artificial intelligence monitoring system later this month. The system will reportedly use deep learning to identify fraudulent transactions more quickly and accurately.

The bank’s move appears to be a reaction to growing concerns that crypto exchanges are can facilitate fraudulent activities. A Shinhan Bank representative was quoted as saying:

“We have set up a comprehensive plan for the elimination of telecommunication and financial fraud… We will continue to implement preventive measures so that customers will not be harmed in the future.”

In early 2018, the South Korean government introduced new rules requiring crypto exchanges to ensure that trader accounts on their platforms were linked to real-name bank account. Before that it had been possible for users to trade on such platforms using virtual accounts. The local authorities made the move as part of a plan to bolster anti-money laundering controls and curb cryptocurrency speculation.

One of South Korea’ leading crypto exchanges, Bithumb, temporarily lost the support of its banking partner following a hacking incident last June that resulted in the theft of $17 million worth of digital tokens from the platform. The situation was resolved in late August, as Bithumb managed to regain the bank’s support. Bithumb suffered another hack this March, when more than 3 million of EOS tokens were stolen from a hot wallet. The exchange said at the time that the hack was likely an insider job and that the stolen crypto was owned by the company, while all members’ assets were stored in a cold wallet.

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