South Korea’s Ruling Party Urges Swift Implementation of Crypto Disclosure Laws

The introduction of the new bill comes shortly after the news broke that one South Korean official liquidated over $4 million worth of crypto assets.

In a bid to enhance transparency and accountability in the cryptocurrency landscape, South Korea’s ruling party is pushing for the immediate enactment of a new bill that would require lawmakers and high-ranking government officials to declare their cryptocurrency holdings.

The current rules in South Korea mandate government officials to disclose stocks, bonds, jewelry, and other assets exceeding $760 (1 million Korean won). However, cryptocurrencies and digital assets are exempt from this reporting requirement.

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In response to this gap, the proposed bill aims to introduce crypto declaration rules, compelling officials to disclose their crypto holdings.

The floor leader of the People Power Party (PPP), Yun Jae-ok, stressed the urgency of revising and voting on the bill promptly, expressing that the scheduled December implementation is not timely given the high level of public interest surrounding the matter.

Given the current high level of public interest, especially regarding lawmakers, it’s not appropriate to enforce the law six months later after the promulgation.

The momentum for this bill can be traced back to a major scandal involving government official Kim Nam-kuk, who allegedly liquidated over $4 million worth of crypto assets before the enforcement of the country’s “Travel Rule” in March.

Kim’s actions sparked controversy, leading to his resignation from the opposing Democratic Party on May 15th.

Subsequently, South Korean authorities raided local cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, as part of the investigations into Kim’s alleged financial misconduct.

To expedite regulatory measures in the crypto space, South Korean officials have been introducing various initiatives since the collapse of Do Kwon’s Terra ecosystem in May of the previous year.

As part of these efforts, a comprehensive bill aiming to establish stricter penalties for crypto-related crimes was proposed in April 2023. The legislation encompasses increased fines and sentences ranging from one year to life imprisonment.

As the bill faces a vote on May 26th, its successful passage would mark a significant step forward in strengthening regulations and fostering trust within the country’s cryptocurrency ecosystem.