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Investigation Reveals South Korean Lawmakers Traded $97 Million in Crypto in 3 Years

Investigation Reveals South Korean Lawmakers Traded $97 Million in Crypto in 3 Years

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An investigation into the digital asset transaction record of all sitting members of the South Korean parliament revealed they traded almost $100 million in crypto over a three-year period.  

After a three-month-long investigation, South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission published a report revealing members of the country’s National Assembly bought or sold an estimated 125.6 billion Korean won ($97.6 million) from May 30, 2020, to May 31, 2023. 

National Assembly Traded Nearly $100 Million in Crypto

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission published a report after concluding an investigation into the digital asset transaction records of all 298 South Korea’s National Assembly members.

The investigation delved into the digital asset transaction history of all members of the National Assembly between May 30, 2020, and May 31, 2023. The Commission discovered that 18 of the lawmakers had records of digital asset possession during the time, while only 11 of the 298 members were responsible for the total transaction volume over the investigation period. 

According to the report, 108 crypto assets were found in the members’ portfolios, with Bitcoin being the most favoured. 

Scandal Forces Lawmakers to Report Digital Asset Holdings and Transactions

The scandal around Kim Nam-kuk, a former lawmaker of the opposing Democratic Party, spurred the investigation. After Nam-kuk’s significant crypto investments came to light, a demand for investigating how much crypto holdings lawmakers possess was initiated. 

In response to the demand, Prime Minister Han Deok-soo called on high-ranking public officials to disclose their crypto holdings. 

Public Official to Disclose Property Holdings

Earlier this week, South Korea’s Ministry of Personnel Management announced that 5,800 public officials will disclose their property holdings, including crypto, to the Public Ethics and Transparency Initiative starting January 2024.  

The initiative was introduced to address transparency concerns in public service. The Minister of Personnel Management, Kim Seung-ho, commented:

“It is expected that the transparency of the public service will be further enhanced through the implementation of an integrated public disclosure service and the registration of virtual assets.”  

South Korea also introduced draft legislation earlier this year mandating all companies that own or issue cryptocurrencies in the country to disclose their crypto holdings in financial statements from 2024. 

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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