UPbit Exchange Raided, Crypto Markets Reel

Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit Raided Amid Suspicions of Fraud

South Korea has been cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry to combat excessive speculation and illegal activities such as money laundering, part of a push by governments around the world to rein in digital currency markets.

Reports indicate that the trading platform is suspected of fraudulent activity over inaccurate representations that it allegedly made regarding the amount of cryptocurrency it has in its possession.

Upbit is now the world's fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange and the largest in South Korea with a 24-hour trading volume of $1.812 billion at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin's drop is part of a broader selloff in the cryptocurrency market, which is now worth around $380 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com. The exchange support website had a notice confirming the investigation: "UPbit is now under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working diligently". The exchange stressed that all customer services were available and their accounts safe.

"They are suspected of falsifying records to appear as though they are holding more cryptocurrency than they actually possess", the Prosecutors' Office of the southern district of Seoul.

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As the Prosecutors' Office reported, they had confiscated hard disks and accounting books but it would take some days to analyze the received data and to make conclusions. Late this week, regulators raided Upbit, the country's largest crypto exchange, on suspicion of fraud.

The state of the markets today is dismal, it's not something we expected to see so soon to say the least. "Your assets are kept securely in your account".

Last month, another exchange, Coinnest, was investigated for charges of embezzlement and fraud, and their chairman, Kim Ik-hwan was detained.

South Korea houses a large percentage of the global market for cryptocurrencies-it ranks third in the whole world's largest markets for bitcoin trades. Original complainants were offered as much as 1 million won (approximately $900 US dollars).

Specifically, officials have conducted raids on three exchanges in addition to Upbit.

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