South Korean PM Calls On Officials To Disclose Crypto Assets

South Korean PM Calls On Officials To Disclose Crypto Assets

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The South Korean Prime Minister, Han Deok-soo, has called on high-ranking public officials to disclose their crypto holdings, with party members unveiling a new bill on Friday.

The Prime Minister is of the view that including crypto in property, registration is the right way forward. 

Expanding The Scope Of Assets Subject To Reporting 

In a press conference held at the Sejong Government Complex, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of including crypto assets in the property registration of all high-ranking public and government officials. Currently, the public officials’ law requires public officials to disclose any assets such as stocks, bonds, and cash valued over 10 million Korean Won ($7572). However, under the current avatar of the law, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets do not have to be reported. 

Under the new proposal, lawmakers have stated that cryptocurrency holdings held by public officials must be reported, regardless of their value. Furthermore, they have also suggested the imposition of a limit on how much any public official involved in the country’s cryptocurrency ecosystem can invest. Lee Man-Hee, a right-leaning lawmaker, in a proposed amendment to the country’s Public Official Ethics Act, stated, 

“It is necessary to expand the scope of assets that are subject to reporting to include virtual assets — this will help to ensure that public officials do not use their position to improperly accumulate wealth or conceal assets.”

Prime Minister Han, in an interaction with reporters, stated that the issue of high-ranking government officials should include digital currencies in property registration can be discussed and decided in the country’s national assembly. The Prime Minister added that personally, he believed that adding cryptocurrencies to property registration is the right thing to do.

Registration Of Other Assets

In an effort to support his stance, the Prime Minister drew parallels with the registration of other valuable assets, adding that under current rules, the registration of precious metals is mandatory. He added that similar requirements for cryptocurrency holdings could also be implemented. At present, there are no requirements that govern the disclosure of cryptocurrency holdings. It is up to each official to decide whether they wish to disclose their assets or not. 

The Kim Nam-kuk Scandal 

The proposal is seen as a way to address the ongoing scandal around a former lawmaker of the opposing Democratic Party, Kim Nam-kuk. The revelation of significant his significant cryptocurrency investments sparked several outbursts calling for a thorough investigation into how much cryptocurrency holdings lawmakers have and to include their registration in property registrations. The National Assembly member is currently being investigated for concealment of criminal proceeds, lax portals, and campaign finance violations by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit. The investigation relates to the reported liquidation of around $4.5 million worth of cryptocurrency just before the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s Travel Rule. 

South Korea has been working on creating a legal framework for cryptocurrencies and crypto firms operating in the country following the collapse of Terra Luna. The framework would help in enhancing transparency and fair trading practices in South Korean markets. Crypto investors and users from South Korea make up a significant chunk of the global crypto space, with the Korean Won being the third most-used currency for transactions after the US Dollar and the Japanese Yen.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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