Upbit Raided by Authorities Under Suspicion of Fraud

Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit Raided Amid Suspicions of Fraud

According to data from cryptocurrency tracker Coinmarketcap, the exchange has processed almost $2.2 billion in the past 24 hours, which makes it the third-largest crypto trading platform in terms of trading volume, behind OKEx and Binance.

On May 13, 2018, two days subsequent to the announcement of an extensive investigation into UPbit, Ran Neuner, a producer at CNBC's CryptoTrader, visited South Korea to offer coverage of the local cryptocurrency market.

After the prosecution's raid became known, the prices of most cryptocurrencies traded on Upbit plunged. Prosecutors suspect the exchange has been falsely reporting the funds in its possession.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) reportedly sent investigators to Upbit's Seoul offices and seized the company's computer system to conduct an audit on the exchange's virtual currency holdings.

"UPbit is now under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working diligently", the exchnage said.

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"Upbit services such as all transactions and withdraws are operating normally".

Korean authorities have been actively monitoring and investigating domestic cryptocurrency exchanges to prepare for a fully regulated industry and to reduce potential risks to traders. The exchange executives among other staff have been suspected of clearing money from their customers' accounts and then using it to purchase cryptos at other exchanges. They were at the center of controversy in December past year when they refused to join other South Korean exchanges in support of self-regulation.

The South Korean government has been closely scrutinizing the role of cryptocurrencies in the economy, and their unregulated exchanges have been a primary target for their efforts.

The move follows revelations last month involving fellow cryptocurrency exchange CoinNest, whose owner Kim Ik-hwan the FSS claims embezzled "billions" of won alongside executives from another operator. Bloomberg reports that the exchange was host to roughly $1.6 billion in trading activity over the last 24 hours. He added that local investors are expecting the cryptocurrency market to rebound once the case is cleared.

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