South Korean Prime Minister calls for disclosure of crypto holdings by high-ranking officials

May 22, 2023

By Anjali Kochhar

South Korean Prime Minister Han Deok-soo has called for the disclosure and registration of cryptocurrency assets by high-ranking public officials, according to a local news outlet. Prime Minister Han expressed his belief that including cryptocurrency in property registration is necessary and should be discussed and decided in the National Assembly.

During a press conference held at the Sejong Government Complex on May 17, Prime Minister Han emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of cryptocurrency holdings of high-ranking officials. He stated that he personally believes it is right to include digital currency in property registration. The prime minister drew a parallel with the registration of other valuable assets, noting that a certain threshold of precious metals is currently required to be registered and suggested similar requirements could be implemented for cryptocurrency holdings.

Currently, there are no mandatory requirements for disclosing cryptocurrency holdings, and officials have the discretion to decide whether or not to reveal such assets. However, recent revelations of significant cryptocurrency investments made by National Assembly member Kim Nam-kuk have sparked calls for thorough investigations into the cryptocurrency holdings of policymakers and their inclusion in property registrations.

Kim Nam-kuk is currently under investigation by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit for allegedly liquidating approximately $4.5 million worth of cryptocurrency prior to the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force’s “Travel Rule.” This incident has further fuelled the debate on the need for transparency and accountability regarding cryptocurrency assets held by high-ranking officials.

The Prime Minister’s call for disclosure and registration of crypto holdings reflects a growing concern over the potential risks and implications associated with cryptocurrency investments among public officials. By implementing mandatory disclosure requirements, the South Korean government aims to enhance transparency and prevent potential conflicts of interest or illicit activities related to digital assets.

The issue will now be open for discussion and decision-making in the National Assembly. If approved, high-ranking public officials will be required to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings and register them as part of their property assets. This move aligns with the government’s efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and ensure responsible participation in the digital economy.

As cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity and influence globally, governments worldwide are grappling with the challenge of effectively regulating this emerging asset class. The South Korean government’s initiative to include cryptocurrency holdings in property registration for high-ranking officials demonstrates its commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in the public sector, as well as its recognition of the need to adapt existing regulations to encompass the unique characteristics of digital currencies.

The outcome of the discussions and potential implementation of mandatory disclosure requirements for cryptocurrency assets by high-ranking officials will shed light on South Korea’s stance towards digital currencies and provide insights into the country’s approach to regulation in this evolving landscape.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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