Korea's Biggest Crypto Exchange Raided Over Suspected Fraud
Prosecutors in South Korea have raided the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country, UPbit, over suspected fraud, according to a report.
Prosecutors in South Korea have reportedly raided the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country, UPbit.
According to CoinDesk Korea, investigators from the Prosecutors' Office of the southern district of Seoul, the country's capital, searched the head office of the exchange in the Gangnam-gu district on May 10–11.
UPbit is suspected of fraud for allegedly selling cryptocurrency to customers that it does not actually hold, according to the report. "We have secured hard disks and accounting books through confiscation. Analysis is expected to take days," the Prosecutors' Office stated.
When asked for comment by CoinDesk Korea, an UPbit representative said, "At this time, I can not answer anything about this seizure."
However, the exchange's support website confirms the investigation in a note posted today and states that its services are still operational, saying:
The news comes as authorities in the country have been investigating cryptocurrency exchanges amid regulatory tightening in the country.
In March, prosecutors reportedly raided the offices of three cryptocurrency exchanges on suspicion of siphoning off funds from customers' accounts. One of the exchanges raided was Coinnest, the fifth largest in Korea at the time. Kim Ikhwan, the firm's founder, and another executive were taken into custody in early April.
Edits: (08:55 UTC) This article has been edited to clarify the the reason for the raid. (10:22 UTC) Updated to add UPbit website statement.
South Korean flag and BTC image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.