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Korean officials to examine banks’ role in $6.5 billion worth of kimchi premium arbitrage

In July FSS It launched an investigation for allegedly aiding local banks in foreign transfers to crypto exchanges of $6.5 billion linked to the “kimchi premium.” He writes about Cointelegraph.

The regulator will review the activities of financial institutions for the period from January 2021 to June 2022 for capital withdrawal and money laundering.

Earlier, the media reported that we are talking about the largest banks in the country – Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank. Reports from organizations indicated that most of the transfers were initiated from local crypto exchanges to various accounts of Korean companies. Some of those involved in these plans were arrested.

The publication did not exclude that the investigation would reveal a greater scale of abuse. The audit of Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank is expected to be completed on August 19. Financial institutions face fines.

“We are serious in foreign exchange transactions, sanctions are inevitable”said Lee Bok-hyun, head of the FSS.

Thanks to the “Kimchi premium”, when bitcoin is sold at a higher than market price in South Korea, it is possible to profit from existing discrepancies. But for foreign citizens, the ban on opening accounts on local crypto exchanges poses challenges.

According to CryptoQuant, the premium for kimchi has dropped to 3.4% from 20% seen in April.

On August 16, journalist Colin Wu, citing Chosun biz, reported that the South Korean government is investigating unregistered currency exchanges, including MEXC, Phemex, Kucoin, Bitrue, Poloniex, CoinEx, and others. Native platform Bithumb said it will restrict deposits and withdrawals from some exchanges on this list.

Recall that in October 2021, South Korean authorities recorded an increase in illegal foreign exchange transactions using digital assets. Presumably, the “kimchi premium” influenced this.

In July 2022, the country’s government delayed the introduction of taxes on bitcoin traders until January 1, 2025.

Read ForkLog bitcoin news in our Telegram – cryptocurrency news, courses and analysis.

Source: Fork Log

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