The South Korean National Assembly has passed a bill requiring lawmakers and government officials to declare their crypto holdings.
As cryptocurrency gains popularity, it is being treated at par with other assets such as stocks, bonds, gold, and real estate.
While the government officials previously had to declare their holdings of traditional assets, there was no such rule for digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
South Korean Crypto Disclosure Bill
From December, officials must now disclose their digital assets holding after the National Assembly unanimously passed two bills. According to Yonhap, officials must also reveal their cryptocurrency holdings as of May 30 by the end of June.
Also, some lawmakers responsible for drafting rules around cryptocurrency, or other laws that can influence the price of digital assets, will be prohibited from owning them.
Yun Jae-ok, from the ruling party, the People Power Party, believes the new rules should be effective within two months. He says:
“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.”
Politician Under Investigation
The development around crypto disclosure came about after Kim Nam-kuk, a politician from the opposition party, was investigated. He faces allegations of suspicious crypto trading.
Allegedly, Kim cashed out his crypto holdings – worth around $4.5 million – before the government imposed a crypto travel rule in March 2022. He maintained a modest depiction, and hence there are suspicions about the source of the money.
Kim and some other DPK politicians opposed the tax on crypto capital gains in 2021. Due to the opposition, the government delayed the imposition of taxes to 2023, and later to 2025.
Crypto-related disputes and crimes are also growing rampant in South Korea. Recently, a woman was kidnapped and murdered in the Gangnam district due to a disagreement and an attempt to steal her crypto holdings.
Due to rising crime, there is an urgency for crypto regulation. In April, the National Assembly passed a crypto regulation bill in the first review stage.
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