South Korea will reportedly begin implementing new regulations banning anonymous cryptocurrency exchange accounts on or around Jan. 20.
Citing anonymous sources, Yonhap News reports that the efforts to clamp down on speculative investing in the cryptocurrency markets now seemingly have a hard launch date.
The proposal essentially strengthens "know-your-customer" rules already in existence for exchanges and banks, and will require cryptocurrency exchange users to connect a bank account with identifying information in order to deposit or withdraw funds.
Other regulations include strengthening anti-money laundering rules, as well as a ban on issuing new anonymous virtual accounts. The government's proposals could even go as far as shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges within the country.
The new regulations were first announced last week by Hong Nam-ki, the minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination. At the time, he told local news agencies that the government could not let speculation in cryptocurrencies "go on any longer."
South Korea will even restrict cryptocurrency advertising, he told reporters.
The country's Financial Intelligence Unit and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) will oversee the rollout of the new regulations, including by inspecting exchanges and banks to ensure institutions are complying with the rules.
Last week, FSS governor Choe Heung-sik said he expected the bitcoin bubble to burst.
"Companies existed during South Korea's IT bubble in the early 2000s, but that is not the case for bitcoin," he told reporters in a meeting.
Asked if the nation would launch its own official cryptocurrency exchange, Heung-sik said such a move would need "to be reviewed carefully."
South Korean won image via Shutterstock