South Korea’s ruling party has called for early enforcement of the law that seeks the country’s lawmakers and high-level government officials to declare their cryptocurrency-related assets.
The proposed bill would require local officials and lawmakers to declare all personal crypto holdings over 1 million Korean won (worth around $760). The move was prompted by a major crypto scandal involving a former lawmaker of the opposing party.
Calls to Expedite Bill
A report by Yonhap news agency suggests that People Power Party’s floor leader unveiled a bill last Friday proposing all public officials and candidates disclose their crypto holdings.
The original bill was previously scheduled for implementation in December this year. However, Rep. Yun Jae-ok, a third-term lawmaker, who was elected as the new floor leader of the conservative PPP last month, deemed the set date to be “too late” and added that the bill needs to be amended to add a clause moving up the enforcement.
The lawmaker said,
“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.”
Yun further revealed that he asked the leader of the Public Administration Committee to propose a modified version of the law. The bill is reportedly scheduled to be put to a vote on May 26.
The latest development emerges on the heels of the ongoing scandal surrounding former Democratic Party lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk who has been at the center of controversy over his cryptocurrency investments. He is currently under investigation by local prosecutors for alleged campaign finance violations and tax portals, as well as for hiding criminal proceeds of his crypto possessions and transactions.
Kim announced leaving the party last week and continued to maintain his innocence. While responding to allegations, the now-independent lawmaker asserted that he was not required to disclose activities surrounding his crypto assets and denied liquidating his holdings.
As part of the investigation against the politician, authorities raided the offices of prominent crypto exchanges – Upbit and Bithumb.
South Korea’s Regulatory Standpoint
South Korean lawmakers have increased regulatory scrutiny of the crypto-asset industry after the collapse of the Terra ecosystem tokens last May.
As such, the legislators passed a first phase review of proposed regulations that offers the Financial Services Commission authority to investigate and monitor financial activity related to the asset class with stipulations ranging from governing the sale, storage, and trading. Consumer protection and compliance reporting were some of the aspects that were particularly stressed.
If passed, the bill would require digital asset service providers to distinguish internal holdings from consumer assets, carry insurance and maintain reserves in the event of non-market-related losses.
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