South Korea is home to a considerable amount of cryptocurrency owners. The East Asian country has witnessed a rapid surge in cryptocurrency adoption rate, as the industry gets more mainstream. Notwithstanding, recent data suggests some of these crypto transactions might be going towards illegal deals.
South Korean authorities reported four illicit crypto-related deals of up to $1.1B
According to a Bloomberg report, the rate of illegal crypto-related transactions appears to have surged in recent times. Citing government data, Bloomberg noted that most illegal forex transactions in South Korea this year are crypto-related. In addition, the data suggests that they contribute to almost 75% of all illicit Forex transactions in 2022 so far.
Per Bloomberg, the South Korean prosecutor’s office recently received reports of four illicit crypto-related transactions. The transactions have a combined value of 1.5 trillion won ($1.1 billion).
This figure represents 70 times the entire illicit cryptocurrency-related FX transactions the country recorded in 2020. Additionally, it is almost double the value of 827 billion won witnessed in all of 2021.
Furthermore, besides the four illicit FX transactions, South Korea is also investigating related cases of $3.4B of abnormal transactions. The transactions allegedly have links to illicit crypto-related deals. Additionally, the authorities allege that two major banks in the country facilitated the transactions.
South Korea is an emerging leader in the Metaverse innovation
On August 11, South Korea made its first arrests in the ongoing investigation into the large $3.4B transaction scheme. The authorities arraigned three individuals allegedly connected to the investigation. The investigation has already uncovered ties to South Korea’s Shinhan and Woori banks.
South Korea’s crypto industry leans a lot towards the area of the Metaverse and NFTs. The South Korean government invested about $177M in the development of the Metaverse industry within the country. This made it the first government to officially make this move.
The metaverse is an uncharted digital continent with indefinite potential,
Lim Hyesook, Minister of Science and ICT, said.
As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, adoption rate surges due to the censorship resistance and financial freedom they promise. However, with a surging adoption rate comes an increase in illegal transactions. Nonetheless, this does not in any way suggest the stifling of the industry. As noticeable in traditional finance, proper regulation and oversight should help in mitigating illicit transactions and crime.