Korean Financial Authority Launches Crypto Investigation on Employee Investments

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In Brief
  • The KSC will investigate individuals in crypto departments to see if they have used insider information to make gains.

  • Employees will be obligated to report their holdings.

  • The FSC Chairman was recently criticized for comments on cryptocurrency investments.

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The Korean Financial Services Commission is investigating the crypto investments of employees in related departments to ensure that no unethical profiting has taken place.

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The Korean Financial Services Commission, South Korea’s financial regulator, has launched an internal investigation relating to crypto investments by employees. Local media outlet Yonhap News reported on April 26 that the FSC will receive reports on the investment status of employees until May 7.

The investigation will examine the investment records of employees in cryptocurrency related departments. Authorities primarily want to ensure that employees have not made any unethical gains stemming from knowledge of publicly undisclosed information. They are obligated to report their investments to the Chairman of the FSC.

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The report alludes to an incident in December 2017. At this time, some employees made large profits from buying and trading before a regulatory announcement. The regulatory body has since been advising its employees to be cautious around cryptocurrency investments.

The agency already imposes investment restrictions on employees who work in related departments. Employees have already begun sending in their reports

South Korea has been one of the more active countries when it comes to regulation. It has already set up tax guidelines and issuing a ban on privacy coins. The nation is offering mixed singles on its crypto approach, though it mostly focused on eliminating crypto-funded crime.

FSC head under fire for controversial crypto comments

One particular incident that received criticism was when FSC Chairman Eun Sung-soo sparked outrage among the country’s youth for his comments on crypto. He decried investing in an asset that can fluctuate more than 20% daily, saying,

“I don’t think it is the right path to jump on the bandwagon of recklessly buying a digital asset that’s fluctuating more than 20 percent a day. If the young generation takes the wrong path, it is elders’ obligation to correct them and tell them it is wrong,”

Cryptocurrency investors, a group mostly composed of those in their 20s and 30s, dismissed the remark as condescending. Sung-soo also said that crypto was similar to artwork and that crypto investors may not deserve protection.

The criticism reached the point where young Korean investors formed a petition asking for Sung-soo’s resignation. Over 114,000 people had signed the petition three days after its creation.

Another individual(s) made an NFT out of a news article about Sung-soo’s comments and sold it on the OpenSea platform. The NFT sold for $2,416.

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Rahul's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014. With a postgraduate degree in finance, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has guided a number of startups to navigate the complex digital marketing and media outreach landscapes. His work has even influenced distinguished cryptocurrency exchanges and DeFi platforms worth millions of dollars.

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