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South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges step up on AML initiatives to counter money laundering practices

Jibin M George



South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges step up on AML initiatives to counter money laundering practices
Source: Pixabay

The relative anonymity offered by the decentralized protocol of cryptocurrency transactions has despite its advantages, also offered a degree of security to those who engage in acts of money laundering. It is therefore welcome that four South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges are joining hands to take steps against such a possibility.

Despite some built-in checks, hackers, and criminals have been able to subvert the technology driving the cryptocurrency market and launder money for their criminal deeds. It is in light of such rising incidents that four leading South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges namely, Bithumb, Upbit, Corbit and Coinone have come together to implement an AML, or an anti-money laundering initiative which they believe, would put in place sufficient checks and balances discouraging any more cases of such acts.

Key to this AML initiated by the four exchanges is a hotline – established to share real-time information between exchanges and comparing notes on any unusual trading activities or transactions that may be associated with money laundering deeds. These may include those associated with voice phishing, pyramid schemes and other illicit trading activities that are often a front to launder money. Such a system to exchange real-time information on transactions allows exchanges to maintain a register of wallets suspected of illegal activities that can then be used to hone in on money laundering suspects in the future.

Each of these initiatives, the exchanges claim, will help foster a healthier environment for the trading of cryptocurrencies. Further, as reported by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, an operator for one of the exchanges said:

“They are now able to instantly check any wrongful transactions made at other exchanges and take necessary measures, such as blocking their own related accounts. The cooperative step against money laundering via cryptocurrencies is expected to boost the soundness of the industry and to better protect consumers.”

While there is no uniform standard to regulation and monitoring of suspicious activities such as money laundering in the cryptocurrency market [Most exchanges have KYC schemes for those holding wallets while some in Japan has self-regulatory guidelines and external bodies], the initiative taken by the four South Korean exchanges is a welcome step in ensuring the safety and security of crypto assets.

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XRP TipBot comes back online after a tiny downtime; Nothing to be worried about, says Wietse Wind




XRP TipBot goes online after a tiny downtime
Source: Unsplash

XRP TipBot’s website and the corresponding application suffered a downtime on June 23, 2019 for a few hours, during which the application wasn’t showing the balance of users. The website and the API for TipBot instead, displayed a “500 Internal Error.”

A Twitter user, @BlueNETGaming, tweeted Wietse Wind, inquiring the same. Wind confirmed that it was just an “infrastructure blip,” and that there was nothing to be worried about.

Wind tweeted,

XRP TipBot is probably the first and most widely accepted use-case of XRP. It leverages the transaction settling time of XRP Ledger to make tipping easy among peers on Twitter, Reddit, and other platforms, and this was the brainchild of developer Wietse Wind.

After TipBot, a lot of other cryptocurrencies have tried to mimic this idea of facilitating tipping; an example being Bitcoin’s, Tippin.Me which leveraged Lightning Network for tipping users. Although successful, it isn’t as popular as Wind’s TipBot.

The reason behind the same is that XRP Ledger allows transaction settlement in under 5 seconds, which makes tipping fast and efficient, unlike Bitcoin’s transactions which take a few minutes for transactions to be confirmed.

This is same reason why XRP is being used as a liquidity provider for cross-border payments in Ripple’s proprietary product, xRapid.

XRP community is a tightly-knit community with people who are very bullish about XRP’s success. There are equally talented developers in the community who are developing apps that help create more use-cases for XRP.

SchlaubiDev is one such developer known for developing plugins for Gmail and Microsoft Office, plugins that allow a user to send XRP over e-mails.

Ripple has identified Wind and his team’s talent and inducted them into Xpring, which finances them to help develop more community-based apps for increasing XRP use-cases.

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