South Korean authorities have ordered the arrest of executives from Coinone, one of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, on suspicion of taking bribes to list tokens. Coinone’s listing team leader, Kim Mo, and listing broker, Hwang Mo, were issued arrest warrants due to concerns about them escaping. The arrests come after the recent escape of fugitive Do Kwon in September 2022, leading authorities to be more cautious.
Kim is facing charges of violating the Concealment of Criminal Proceeds Control Act and breach of trust, while Hwang is charged with breach of trust. Kim has admitted to receiving 1 billion won ($756,140) from Hwang and other listing brokers in exchange for listing virtual assets such as Pica Coin in 2020. Hwang allegedly gave a total bribe of 2 billion won ($1.5 million) to Kim and other Coinone executives.
This incident highlights the ongoing challenges of corruption in the cryptocurrency industry and the need for stricter regulations to prevent such unethical practices. The credibility and integrity of exchanges are crucial for investor confidence in the growing crypto market.
In a separate development, another South Korean exchange, GDAC, recently suffered a hot wallet hack, resulting in a loss of $13 million, which accounted for 25% of the exchange’s assets under custody. This hack raises concerns about the security measures and vulnerabilities of exchanges, highlighting the importance of robust security protocols to protect user funds.
The cryptocurrency market is experiencing rapid growth, with increasing interest from institutional investors and mainstream adoption. However, incidents like the alleged bribery at Coinone and the hack at GDAC could potentially impact the reputation of the crypto sector and raise questions about the overall security and transparency of the industry.
Moreover, South Korean prosecutors have also been cracking down on cryptocurrency-related fraud and illegal activities. In July 2022, they searched the home of Daniel Shin, co-founder of Terraform Lab, and imposed a travel ban on numerous Terraform Labs associates, including former employees. This further emphasizes the need for stricter regulations and enforcement actions to ensure the integrity and legality of the cryptocurrency space.
As the metaverse and cryptocurrency sectors continue to evolve, it is crucial for authorities, exchanges, and investors to work together to establish transparent and trustworthy practices. This includes implementing robust security measures, enforcing strict regulations, and holding individuals accountable for unethical and illegal activities. Only through such efforts can the cryptocurrency industry gain the trust and confidence of investors and continue to grow in a sustainable and responsible manner.