- A new bill proposed by South Korea’s ruling party would require all candidates and public officials to reveal their cryptocurrency holdings.
- The initial bill, which is presently being finalised in the aftermath of accusations made against a legislator from an opposition party, was supposed to go into effect in December.
The floor leader of South Korea‘s ruling People Power Party announced that a recently proposed bill, which mandates lawmakers and high-level government officials to disclose their cryptocurrency and virtual asset holdings, is expected to be enforced within the next one to two months.
The comments were delivered to reporters by Rep. Yun Jae-ok, the PP’s floor leader. He requested that the enforcement of crypto rules, currently set for December, be postponed. Representative Jae-ok stated that the measure needs to be updated to include a new clause hastening the enforcement because the current schedule is too late.
Lee Man-hee, a conservative legislator, emphasised the importance of broadening the range of assets that require reporting to encompass virtual assets. This measure aims to prevent public officials from exploiting their positions to accumulate wealth unlawfully or conceal assets.
Rep. Kim Nam-kuk, an independent legislator who had formerly been a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Korea, was flagged earlier this month by South Korea’s financial watchdog for a number of cryptocurrency transactions that were declared questionable. Kim claimed he did not cash out his tokens and did not break any rules. He had previously co-sponsored a clause delaying taxation on virtual digital assets.
This recent development occurred shortly after South Korean prosecutors conducted searches at the premises of two domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. The searches were part of an investigation into legislator Kim Nam-kuk’s digital assets.
Kim’s resignation from his political party on May 14 was quickly followed by an official raid. The accusations against him are related to alleged questionable cryptocurrency transactions that took place between May 2022 and November 2022, a period when he was actively involved in digital asset legislation.
Through a legislative panel, the MPs amended the Public Service Ethics Act on Monday, May 22. According to local news source Yonhap News, Yun Jae-ok requested a modified version from a member of the Public Administration Committee. The employee stated:
“It is not suitable to enforce the law six months after its promulgation,” a politician said, referring to the current high level of public interest, particularly in lawmakers.
Currently, under the existing public officials’ law in South Korea, officials are obligated to disclose their assets, including cash, stocks, and bonds exceeding 10 million Korean won (approximately US$7,572).
However, cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets are not included in the reporting requirement. Lawmakers have put forth proposals to amend the law, suggesting that cryptocurrency holdings should be reported regardless of their value.
Furthermore, they have recommended imposing a limit on the amount that officials engaged in the cryptocurrency sector can invest.