Cryptocurrency deals have come to dominate illicit foreign exchange transactions in South Korea, Bloomberg News reported Thursday (Aug. 24).
Citing government data, the report said prosecutors have seen four crypto cases this year that violated local foreign exchange transaction rules, involving 1.5 trillion won ($1.1 billion). That figure is almost double what was reported last year, and 70 times as much from 2020.
Nearly three quarters of transactions that violated foreign-exchange rules were crypto-linked, compared to 61% in 2021, the data shows.
Bloomberg said the four cases are not connected to another, ongoing investigation by South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service into $3.4 billion worth of “abnormal” foreign-exchange transactions at Korean banks that could be tied to illegal crypto activity.
Meanwhile, troubled lender Voyager Digital has attracted interest from some of the biggest players in the crypto industry in its search for a buyer.
Coindesk reported that the exchanges Binance and FTX are among the interested buyers, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Bids for Voyager’s assets are due on Sept. 6 for its sale, which is happening as part of its bankruptcy. A winner could be chosen at an auction — if necessary — on Sept. 29. Coindesk said at least 22 investors have shown interest in purchasing Voyager’s assets. One source said the American crypto exchange Coinbase had considered a deal but ended up withdrawing.
Also, cryptocurrencies with ties to non-fungible tokens (NFT) and the metaverse have underperformed this week as enthusiasm about the NFT market drops, Coindesk reported.
Among these cryptos is Flow network’s FLOW token, which can be used to build NFTs and decentralized applications on the Web3 platform. It’s dropped 20% during the past seven days, the second largest decline during the week among 52 cryptocurrencies that have a market cap higher than $1 billion.
The report also cited data from NonFungible.com showing that the amount of U.S. dollars traded in the NFT market fell 25% in the second quarter compared to the first, while NFT resell profit plummeted 46% for a total loss of $1.4 billion.
The minimum purchase price of an NFT from Bored Ape Yacht Club, the largest NFT collection in terms market cap, is down more than 50%.
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