High-ranking officials to declare crypto holdings voices South Korean PM

South Korean authorities seek stakeholder protection through Crypto regulation

South Korean Prime Minister Han Deok-soo announced cryptocurrency to be included in the property registration of high-ranking officials. The prime minister during an interaction with journalists at the Sejong Government Complex mentioned this. During the meeting, he said, “It can be discussed and decided in the National Assembly whether to include the virtual currency, which has become a problem this time, in the property registration (high-ranking official).”

The recent revelation of National Assembly member Kim Nam-kuk’s significant cryptocurrency investments has sparked calls for thorough investigations into the cryptocurrency holdings of policymakers and their inclusion in property registrations.

As it was revealed that the Congressman invested a large amount in cryptocurrency, voices are growing that high-ranking officials should be thoroughly investigated whether they own cryptocurrency and include it in their property registration. Currently, cryptocurrency is not subject to property registration. High-ranking officials decide whether or not to disclose it based on their judgment.

The prime minister drew a parallel with the registration of other valuable assets. He mentioned that registering a certain threshold of precious metals is currently mandatory, and similar requirements could be implemented for cryptocurrency holdings. Contemporarily, there are no requirements to disclose cryptocurrency holdings, and each official decides independently whether to reveal such assets.

Cryptocurrencies are popular investments among South Korea’s young generation who see them as a path to prosperity in a context of persistently high unemployment. South Korea has long been an early adopter of new technology, and the culture is such that people are quick to embrace new technological innovations and opportunities.

It is important that cryptocurrencies are allowed for use but are not considered legal tender in South Korea. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is the primary authority responsible for supervising VASP compliance with AML/CFT obligations. The FSC revised Korea’s Anti-Money Laundering-related law, the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information (FTRA), in March 2021.

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