South Korea’s top financial regulator has assigned a task force to “expedite the review process of bills on virtual assets,” said its chairman Kim Joo-hyun.
The task force will consist of private-sector experts and relevant ministries, the chairman of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) said at a National Assembly meeting.
According to Kim, some 13 bills concerning the virtual asset market and investor protections are currently pending in the National Assembly.
“We will make institutional supplements that will take a balanced approach to blockchain development, investor protection, and market stability,” chairman Kim said. He also said the FSC would prioritize communicating internationally and work to help establish global regulatory standards.
South Korea crypto arrests
Meanwhile, authorities in South Korea have arrested three people as part of an investigation into $3.4 billion worth of foreign-exchange transactions that could illicitly involve cryptocurrencies.
The three people are accused of establishing paper companies and operating an unregistered cryptocurrency trading business, as well as making false data submissions to banks, according to the Daegu District Prosecutors’ Office.
The accused are allegedly involved with a firm that sent 400 billion won ($307 million) worth of funds from the Woori Bank branch in Seoul. Between May 2021 and June 2022, unusual transactions totaling 1.6 trillion won took place at five branches of Woori Bank, according to South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service.
Another 11 branches of Shinhan Bank experienced similar transactions worth 2.5 trillion won between February 2021 and July 2022, it added.
South Korean authorities launched the probe into foreign-exchange transactions at commercial banks for possible links to illegal cryptocurrency-related activities last month. Since then, an employee who had worked at BNK Busan Bank in FX was accused of embezzling 1.48 billion won ($1.1 million) of clients’ funds to invest in Bitcoin.
This became the latest in over 10 cases of embezzlement allegedly perpetrated by bank employees in South Korea this year, including another involving Woori Bank.
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