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Say Goodbye to Credit Card Crypto Purchases in South Korea: Regulator Pushes for Ban


The Financial Services Commission cited concerns “about illegal outflow of domestic funds overseas due to card payments on overseas virtual asset exchanges.”

Say Goodbye to Credit Card Crypto Purchases in South Korea: Regulator Pushes for Ban

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have taken the world by storm in recent years. These digital currencies have seen a meteoric rise in value and have attracted a large number of investors – both retail and institutional. Along with this rise in popularity, a plethora of payment options and methods have emerged, making it easier for individuals to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies. One of these methods, which has become increasingly popular, is using a credit card to buy cryptocurrencies. However, in South Korea, this option will soon be a thing of the past as the country’s financial regulator pushes for a ban on credit card crypto purchases.

This move by the Korean government has left many in the crypto community shocked and concerned. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this push for a ban, the potential impacts it may have, and what alternatives will be available for South Korean investors looking to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Why is South Korea Banning Credit Card Crypto Purchases?

The main reason for this ban is to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. According to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU), there has been a significant increase in the number of suspicious transactions related to cryptocurrency purchases. They believe that allowing credit card purchases for crypto could make it easier for criminals to launder money.

In addition to this, South Korea has been pushing for stricter regulations for the crypto industry as a whole. Just last year, the country implemented a real-name verification system for crypto exchanges, requiring users to link their bank accounts with their exchange accounts. This was a move to prevent anonymous trading and to deter illegal activities in the crypto market.

What are the Potential Impacts of this Ban?

The ban on credit card crypto purchases will have a significant impact on the local crypto market in South Korea. First and foremost, it will limit the options available for investors looking to enter the market. As credit cards are a convenient and widely used method of payment, many individuals may be discouraged from investing in cryptocurrencies due to the lack of available payment options.

Moreover, this ban will also affect the liquidity of the market as credit card purchases make up a significant portion of crypto transactions in South Korea. This means that there may be a decrease in trading volume and potentially, a decline in prices of cryptocurrencies in the country.

However, on the positive side, this ban may also lead to increased investor protection and a decrease in fraudulent activities. With stricter regulations in place, investors can have more confidence in the market, and there may be a rise in institutional investors who were previously hesitant to enter the market. This, in turn, could lead to a more stable and mature crypto market in South Korea.

What are the Alternatives for South Korean Investors?

While the ban on credit card purchases may be a blow to the crypto market in South Korea, there are still other options available for investors looking to purchase cryptocurrencies. One of the most popular alternatives is using a bank transfer or wire transfer to fund their exchange accounts. This method has been allowed and used for crypto purchases in South Korea for some time now and will continue to be available.

Another option is to use stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) to buy cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins are digital currencies that are backed by a stable asset, such as the US dollar, making them less volatile than traditional cryptocurrencies. Using stablecoins can also provide a level of anonymity as they can be purchased through cash deposit or wire transfers without needing a bank account.

In addition to these, there are also over-the-counter (OTC) trading services available, which allow individuals to make large crypto purchases directly with a broker or seller. OTC trades often have lower fees and provide more flexibility in terms of payment methods.

Beneficial Tips for South Korean Investors

If you are a South Korean investor looking to continue purchasing or trading cryptocurrencies, here are some tips to ensure a smooth and secure experience:

1. Use reputable and licensed crypto exchanges with the new real-name verification system in place.

2. Consider using stablecoins as an alternative to credit card purchases to bypass the ban and maintain anonymity.

3. Explore OTC trading options for larger crypto transactions.

4. Stay updated with any developments or changes in regulations in the crypto industry in South Korea.

5. Research and understand the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments.


In conclusion, the ban on credit card crypto purchases in South Korea is a move by the government to prevent financial crimes and promote market stability. While it may limit options for investors, there are still alternative methods available for purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies. It is essential for South Korean investors to stay informed and adapt to these changes to continue participating in the crypto market. With stricter regulations in place, the future of the crypto industry in South Korea looks promising.

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