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South Korea to Toughen Inspections of Crypto Mining Chip Imports

Cryptocurrency miners in South Korea may find it to be more difficult in getting foreign-made mining chips imported to the country.

According to data published by the Korean Customs Service (KCS) Wednesday, the government agency has added cryptocurrency mining chips into the current list for items that are mandated to meet certain requirement set by existing laws for importation such as safety and sanitation certifications.

The new measure arrives after the border control agency has noted the increasing amount of cryptocurrency miners imported into South Korea, according to a report from South Korean media outlet Kyunghyang yesterday.

For example, just in November and December last year, the KCS has found imports of 454 mining chips at an estimated value of 1.3 billion Korean won (or $1.2 million), the report said.

Yet due to its significant electricity consumption and associated heating, the usage of these mining machines draws concerns from the agency whether they bring high possibility of fire incidents, the report went on.

To that effort, the report said the agency will inspect safety issues of imported cryptocurrency mining machines based on the existing radio law and safety requirements on electronic goods put out by the National Radio Research Agency, a government body that sets standardization on technical regulations.

The new move also comes at a time when public and private sectors in South Korea have moved to halt allegedly illegal mining activities especially in public space due to concerns associated with high electricity cost and fire risk.

As reported before, earlier this month Korean police has busted 14 people from 13 companies who had allegedly used cheap electricity provided at industrial factories to mine cryptocurrencies.

In August last year, an electronics retail marketplace in Seoul also banned stores from mining cryptocurrencies inside the building due to fire concern that stems from the rising risk of heated temperature.

Customs image via Shutterstock

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