The South Korean media is carrying more reports of crypto exchanges delaying their clients’ withdrawal requests – and in some cases failing to respond to the customers altogether as investors’ worries about the security of their funds intensify.
As previously reported, crypto holders with tokens and fiat on a number of smaller trading platforms have been warned by the financial regulator that their tokens may not be safe on exchanges that have not put anti-money laundering (AML) and real-name authenticated banking procedures into practice.
A law that promulgated last month has made the South Korean crypto sector one of the most tightly policed in the world in terms of checks on exchanges. However, all operators have until September 24 to complete compliance procedures as part of a six-month grace period.
And after footage last month showed TV reporters knocking on the doors of crypto exchange offices that had been closed for weeks and disgruntled customers turning up to demand their funds, it appears the woes of the users of smaller crypto exchanges have deepened.
Per MBN, customers of a number of unnamed crypto exchanges have since reported that customer service centers appear to have closed or “frozen,” leaving them with no way to reach the trading platforms.
In a video report, the media outlet showed customers gathered in groups of three and four outside the offices of a crypto exchange in the central Yongsan District of Seoul. Some complained that they had been waiting for two weeks or even a month to hear back from customer service employees. Others stated that they had tried to reach the companies by phone and chat app before eventually deciding to come to the offices in person.
One recounted that he had traveled over 320km from Busan to the Seoul offices in order to confront company officials.
An unnamed official at an unnamed trading platform stated, in a phone call with an MBN reporter, that it was “very aware” that customers had been “experiencing difficulties with withdrawals.”
Previous reports have seen similar scenes at other offices located in different parts of the capital, with some claiming their withdrawal requests dating back to early January have still not been met. Some exchanges have claimed these delays are due to security checks and anti-voice phishing protocols. But other investors say they are having even less luck.
The regulatory Financial Services Commission has warned customers unsure about the status of their funds to seek withdrawals at the earliest possible opportunity, hinting that some platforms may continue to be unresponsive.
Some complainants have taken their cases to the police, media outlets report.
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