• J Markezic and S Pettigrove

US and Korea to collaborate on Terra/Luna investigations



Representatives of the US and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have agreed to collaborate and share investigation data regarding ongoing crypto-related crime and compliance matters, including most notably investigations relating to the Terra/Luna meltdown.


South Korea's Minister for Justice, Han Dong-hoon, met with Securities and Commodities Task Force co-chiefs, Andrea M. Griswold and Scott Hartman, at the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York earlier this week.


The primary goal of the meeting was to agree upon the most effective course of mutual assistance on crypto-related matters including the exchange of information and strengthening cooperation of regulatory authorities. Yonhap News Agency reported that the ultimate aim of the increased mutual assistance is:

to ensure timely action on the increasing number of securities frauds associated with the digital asset market.

The recent issues faced by Terra appear to have prompted closer cooperation, with the US and South Korea reportedly agreeing to share latest investigation data and reports into the embattled stablecoin issuer which is currently under investigation in both jurisdictions for, among others, fraud, market manipulation and tax evasion.


Over the past year, South Korea has taken a number of measures to enhance crypto-regulation and enforcement, including implementing the "travel rule" for crypto-transfers and establishing a new division of the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit to supervise AML/CTF compliance by Virtual Asset Service Providers. Recently, South Korea has also established a dedicated crypto oversight committee to assess all new crypto projects listed on crypto exchanges.


The latest move follows reports that the US House of Representatives is formulating new stablecoin legislation that could, if passed, come into force prior to 2022 ending. The mutual assistance arrangements are the latest example of coordinated action by regulators around the globe in relation to cryptocurrency markets.