Korean Supreme Court to Decide on Crypto Regulations

Korean lawyers from Seoul have filed an appeal accusing their government of “unconstitutional” infringement on property rights  
08 February 2018   196

At the end of December, a law firm filed their appeal through the Constitutional Court’s online system. This case against the South Korean government over cryptocurrency regulations has been referred to the country’s Supreme Court by the Constitutional Court.

The government insisted that the real-name system is based on the Banking Law and the Financial Information Act. If the court decides that the regulations are unconstitutional, all existing crypto regulations imposed by the government could be cancelled.

According to the lawyer Jeong Hee-chan, the regulation of the trade through administrative guidance without legal grounds is an infringement on people’s property rights. He agrees that crypto regulations are necessary but they should come after the implementation of related laws.

Starting from January 30 of 2018, all the unknown institutions that have virtual bank accounts were limited. This mandatory real-name system for cryptocurrency exchange accounts was implemented by the Finance Service Commission (FSC) in South Korea. According to this policy, traders are not allowed to make deposits in digital accounts if the name of their bank account does not match the account name in the crypto exchange.

Currently, only 8.21% of all virtual accounts at the country’s top four exchanges have been converted into real-name ones. Around 1.6 million accounts remain anonymous. Moreover, banks are only converting accounts for large exchanges such as Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit, leaving smaller exchanges with no way to use the real-name system.

The matter should be concluded within 180 days from the date of filing under the Constitutional Court Act which was on December 30. Therefore, the case is expected to conclude by the end of June.

First real-life cryptocurrency robbery reported in Taiwan

Four men stole 5 million Taiwanese dollar worth of Bitcoin, the police has already arrested the suspects
22 February 2018   57

Bitcoin has attracted lots of unwanted attention from hackers and scammers alike. Recently not a week passes without news of an exchange or user being hacked or some company's computers being hijacked to mine cryptocurrency. And now Taiwanese news outlets report first real-life robbery of Bitcoin in their country.

The robbery took place in Taichung, Taiwan's central city. The police reports three men being involved in the robbery itself and one as a planner. Criminals persuaded the victim to meet with them face-to-face under the guise of being interested in buying Bitcoin from him. After the victim showed the robbers the proof of his bitcoins on his phone, the men attacked him and his friend and transferred 18 bitcoins worth 5 million Taiwanese dollar via the phone wallet.

The suspects then forced the unfortunate seller to drink strong local liquor to make everything look like a drunken fight had taken place. The police arrived at the scene after receiving the reports of a fight and found two victims. Two of the offenders had fled, but the third has been arrested at the scene of the crime. He later provided investigation with information about his accomplices. They were arrested soon after.

The police later apprehended the man believed to be the mastermind behind the plan. All this was released in the yesterday's report by the Taiwanese law enforcement and the case is already viewed as “the first domestic case of bitcoin robbery”. The report doesn't mention if the crypto was returned to the rightful owner.

Similar cases has been rumored to happen in the US, but no records are released as of yet. So the unofficial governmental advice is to be more cautious of the buyers requesting face to face meetings in the light of this event.