Chinese Courts Says OKCoin Operates Illegally, Awards Damages

A Chinese court has awarded damages against China’s popular bitcoin exchange, OKCoin, after it was alleged that the company was aiding criminal money laundering and wasn’t properly registered.

The court decision only affects OKCoin’s China-based bitcoin exchange,, and not its international exchange,; however, it’s the first significant ruling by a court against a bitcoin exchange. OKCoin’s parent company is Lekuda.

According to court documents, Huachen Commercial and Trading Co. Ltd., the defendant, claimed that an individual had defrauded it of 12 million Chinese yuan ($1.8 million USD), which was then laundered to buy bitcoin before the money was withdrawn to a Macau account.

The court found that the criminal had managed to set up several accounts on OKCoin by utilizing fraudulent identity documents that had been bought online. As a result, the court disapproved of OKCoin’s procedure when it comes to reviewing users’ identities, stating that opportunistic criminals can use the bitcoin exchange to launder money with no fear of a reprimand.