South Korea’s Top Financial Regulator Is Forming a Dedicated Crypto Bureau

The Crypto Asset Monitoring Bureau will officially launch in September and oversee licensing for exchanges and other operators, among other responsibilities.

AccessTimeIconAug 26, 2021 at 6:46 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:31 p.m. UTC

South Korea’s Financial Service Commission (FSC), the country’s top financial regulator, announced Thursday that it is forming an independent, crypto-focused bureau to supervise digital assets in South Korea.

  • The new bureau will officially launch in September and fall under the authority of the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU), an arm of the FSC that handles anti-money laundering enforcement.
  • According to a report from the Korea Times, the new bureau will be called the Crypto Asset Monitoring Bureau and will be responsible for overseeing licenses for exchanges and other operators.
  • Licensing is a key role given that FSC officials said in April that exchanges that do not register with and receive a license from KFIU by late September will not be permitted to operate in Korea. The FSC’s licenses require exchanges to tighten their know-your-customer (KYC) standards and collect personal information about customers.
  • The bureau will also be responsible for monitoring for suspicious activity including fraud and money laundering, according to the Korea Times.
  • South Korea’s ongoing crypto crackdown is tied to the growing level of debt among young people, which the government’s top regulator – FSC Chief Koh Seung-beom – has blamed, at least in part, on digital asset speculation.


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Cheyenne Ligon is a CoinDesk news reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She has no significant crypto holdings.

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