South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Will Block Unregistered Wallets

The exchange was reportedly pressured from its partner bank to change its mind.

Jan 25, 2022 at 12:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 25, 2022 at 4:03 p.m. UTC

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

Bithumb, one of South Korea's largest crypto exchange by trading volume, will stop accepting wallet addresses that haven't been properly registered with the exchange as it enforces the "travel rule," according to an official blog post on Monday.

  • The travel rule, recommended by the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, requires exchanges to collect data about transactions and share them with authorities when they exceed a certain threshold.
  • Starting Jan. 27, Bithumb users will not be able to withdraw or pre-register using wallets such as MetaMask that are not tied to a name, mobile phone number or email address registered, CoinDesk Korea reported.
  • Last week, Bithumb said users would have to go through a face-to-face interview to sign up on the exchange using such wallets.
  • South Korean media like Money Today reported that the change of mind came as a result of pressure from NH Nonghyup bank. Crypto exchange Coinone, which also works with NH Nonghyup, announced a similar measure which started on Jan. 24.
  • Seoul requires all exchanges to partner with banks for real-name bank accounts in order to operate in the country.
  • The two exchanges are working on a whitelist of users who have registered their data, according to media reports.


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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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