Bithumb Bans Employees From Trading Bitcoin on its Exchange

By Andrew Asmakov

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has banned its employees from using their accounts to trade digital assets on the platform.

The South Korean exchange said it is clamping down on the practice to prevent insider trading. Bithumb will check whether its employees abide by its new rules through continuous monitoring, audits and internal reporting.

Bithumb said that it had already restricted its employees from trading crypto within working hours and from coins that had been listed for less than three days.

At a closed-door meeting last month, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission told the country’s major crypto exchanges that it planned to ban so-called cross trading–whereby exchanges buy and sell the same asset without recording the trade–to prevent price manipulation.

The proposed rule upset exchanges, which complained that they would have to spend money operating separate businesses to continue cross trading.

South Korea’s Crypto Exchanges Balk at Further Restrictions

In April, the Commission tightened regulations around cryptocurrency transactions designed to take advantage of the so-called “kimchi premium” on Bitcoin. South Korea’s financial institutions must now scan for illegal crypto trades and report suspicious transactions to the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

In March, the FSC introduced penalties–up to $52,000 per violation– for crypto exchanges that don’t report suspicious transactions or maintain records of customer transactions.