South Korean public officials must reveal crypto holdings

Previously, public officials were only required to disclose owned assets such as cash, stocks and bonds worth over $7,572.

Lawmakers from South Korea’s ruling party have initiated a new bill requiring all public officials and candidates to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings.

During a press conference at the Sejong Government Complex, South Korean prime minister Han Duck-soo stated the importance of including crypto assets in the property registration of high-ranking public officials.

The proposal, announced on Friday 19 May, aims to expand the scope of reported financial assets to include virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies.

The new bill intends to forgo public officials from using their position to “improperly accumulate wealth or conceal assets,” said right-wing lawmaker Lee Man-hee, in a proposed amendment to the Public Official Ethics Act.

Before now, public officials were only required to disclose owned assets such as cash, stocks and bonds worth over 10 million Korean won ($7,572) and were not under any prerequisite to report their cryptocurrencies or other virtual assets.

However, the South Korean ruling party has now proposed that all virtual assets must be reported regardless of value. Moreover, specific details must be delegated, such as the method of calculating or displaying the value of virtual assets to be registered, to the Presidential Decree.

The bill follows an ongoing examination into former lawmaker of the opposing Democratic Party, Kim Nam-kuk, who allegedly secretly owned six billion Korean won ($4.48m) worth of Wemix tokens, the native token of local blockchain game company Wemade.

Nam-kuk is reportedly still under investigation by local prosecutors for campaign finance violations, tax portals and hiding criminal proceeds, according to a local media outlet.



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Written by Edward Pearcey

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