Who should be ready for South Korea’s new AML Act? – ARGOS

South Korean regulators enforce the FATF guidelines on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines imposes a duty to prevent money laundering, equivalent to a financial company, to a virtual asset service provider. Virtual asset service provider(VASP) means any natural or legal person conducts one or more of the following activities or operations for or on behalf of another natural or legal person:

a) exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies
b) exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets
c) transfer of virtual assets (transfer means to conduct a transaction on behalf of another natural or legal person that moves a virtual asset from one virtual asset address or account to another.)
d) safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets
e) participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a virtual asset.

All FATF member countries are amending their anti-money laundering laws in accordance with the FATF recommendations. Korea is also revising its anti-money laundering law, the Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transaction Information. The Act on Reporting and Use of Certain Financial Transaction Information (Special Act), regulates financial transactions, and stipulates business guidelines and supervisory duties that financial companies must follow to prevent money laundering. Let’s find out who needs to be prepared for the new Special Act!

Crypto Exchanges: All cryptocurrency exchanges will be subject to the Special Act and need to implement anti-money laundering system (KYC and AML screening) and ISMS (Information Security Management System) certifications to acquire virtual asset business license.

ICO Project: exchanging issued virtual assets with fiat currency is regarded as virtual asset service providers.

Wallet / custody: Companies that store and manage virtual assets are classified as virtual asset service providers.

Crypto VC/Accelerator: When you invest with crypto-token, this corresponds to sale/purchase of virtual assets.

DApp: If there’s any virtual assets exchange or transaction in using dApp, the Special Act will be applied.

FATF (Financial Action Task Force):
International organizations that prepare international standards to deal with money laundering and terrorist financing and assess the implementation status of each member state.

Virtual Asset: Typically referred to as cryptocurrency or virtual currency. Under the international standards introduced this time, virtual assets are also considered as property, proceeds, funds, or as of corresponding value.

Virtual Asset Service Providers: Natural persons or entities engaged in the business of selling, storing, and exchanging virtual assets to virtual assets or virtual assets to fiat money. (e.g., Virtual Currency Exchange)

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