US and Russia to Exchange Data on Cryptocurrencies

The United States and Russia have agreed to exchange case-related data on cryptocurrencies, including Terra Luna.

South Korean justice minister Han Dong-hoon visited New York recently to discuss ways in which the two countries can cooperate on investigations of financial crimes, especially crypto-related crimes.

On Tuesday, Hoon met with Andrea M. Griswold, co-chief of the Securities and Commodities Task Force at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and Scott Hartman, chief of the same office's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in New York City. A local newspaper reported on their meeting afterward that day.

A local daily reported that the two countries have agreed to share their latest investigation data on Terra-LUNA, a crypto project under investigation in both countries. The two sides discussed ways to exchange information and strengthen cooperation in order to take timely action on the increasing number of securities frauds associated with the digital asset market.

Justice Minister Han Dong-hoo (left) meets with prosecution officials from the United States, Source: Yna
The justice minister met with the US officials, Source: Yna

The $40 billion Terra ecosystem crash has attracted legal scrutiny from both countries. The U.S has recently opened a new investigation against Terra co-founder Do Kwon, while the South Korean prosecutors are looking into several charges including fraud, market manipulation and tax evasion.

The cooperation between the two nations could be just the beginning of many as crypto-related crimes have become the focus of regulators in recent times. South Korea has been one of the strictest nations when it comes to crypto regulations, ensuring that strict know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) rules are followed.

Korean lawmakers have created a new crypto oversight committee to assess the new crypto projects listed on exchanges. Many experts predicted that the collapse of Terra-USD (UST) will prompt regulators to favor centralized stablecoins over algorithmic ones.

Because of the absence of clear crypto regulations, it is difficult and complex to track and prosecute these crimes that often involve cross-border transactions and money laundering. For example, a Dutch university paid 200,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) as a ransom in 2019; investigators were able to trace one wallet to Ukraine and eventually had to work with local authorities to get back the funds nearly three years after the hack.